An outbreak of the flu has emptied classrooms and forced two county nursing homes to isolate sick patients in recent weeks.
With the flu bug rampant, more than 15 of Anne Arundel's 121 public schools reported a 10 percent to 15 percent absentee rate in January. The numberof children calling in sick or leaving school early has slowed sincelate January, said Betsy Rice, coordinator of health issues for the school system.
At the same time, the county Health Department is investigating three confirmed cases of influenza in two county nursing homes. A number of patients have mild symptoms of the disease, but only three needed to be isolated so far, said department spokeswoman Evelyn Stein.