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81 Gardner Middle School Students Out Sick With Flu-Like Symptoms

A Massachusetts middle school has had dozens of students out, and some of those children are confirmed to have come down with the flu.

Officials at Gardner Middle School said 81 kids were out sick Monday, with 64 students remaining out Tuesday. All had flu-like symptoms, and five cases of the flu were confirmed.

One of the students known to have gotten the flu is 12-year-old Sara Hopkins. She is back home after a fever that spiked to 105 degrees and a trip to the emergency room.

"They tested her and it turned out positive for flu," said her mother, Jill.

"I feel like this flu came out of the blue," said Hopkins. "I wasn't even thinking about it, it just hit."

Over the weekend, it was a hard knock life for many of the students performing in the school production of Annie Jr.

The school district says students were tired and rundown after 12-hour days and that may have helped spread the illness, as they worked closely together.

"Saturday afternoon, they said one of the lead parts was in the hospital the night before because of the flu," said Lois Herbert, who volunteered on the musical. "And he was one of them that I was changing the costumes."

Herbert, whose granddaughter is a sixth-grader at the school, also had a confirmed case of the flu.

"The show must go on, so the students did pretty well," said Herbert. "Even though a lot of them were not feeling good."

So far, school hasn't been canceled, despite all the sickness going around, but many kids were not able to attend a weeklong field trip to New Hampshire because they were too ill.

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