Quarter of Goes school's pupils home sick with the flu

The flu epidemic hit a secondary school in the Zeeland city of Goes hard these past days. A quarter of the 1,600 pupils at the Goese Lyceum location on Oranjeweg are home sick, something the school never experienced before. "We're now also seeing quite a few colleagues fall over", rector Carin Biesterbosch said to NU.nl.

Thirteen teachers were home sick on Wednesday. The school couldn't replace all of them and was forced to shorten the timetables. Among pupils, the number of pupils suddenly spiked last week Thursday. The peak was on Tuesday with about 400 kids home sick, the school confirmed. Though Biesterbosch added that she doesn't know exactly what is wrong with each pupil.

Nationwide the number of people with the flue also increased sharply, after a few weeks of decline. According to health institute Nivel, 96 out of each 100 thousand people in the Netherlands went to a GP with flu symptoms last week. The week before that it was 59 out of 100 thousand. 

If more than 51 out of 100 thousand people have the flu for two consecutive weeks, it is considered an epidemic. This current flu epidemic lasted 9 weeks so far - the average length of such epidemics. Last year the flu epidemic lasted 18 weeks.