HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – There were a lot of empty desks in the classrooms across the state on Thursday — not just from students, but teachers, who caught the flu.

“Everybody seems to be making up for the time they weren’t sick during COVID, so we’re taking two years’ worth of virus and swishing them into three months,” Dr. Jennifer Schwab, of Connecticut Children’s Hospital, said.

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Allan Bookman, the superintendent of Glastonbury Public Schools has been in education for 52 years. He said 10% of teachers were out Thursday. While the flu is not shutting the schools down, it is taking its toll.

“As far as the numbers are concerned, and the severity for people, I think this is probably the largest I have seen in my career,” Bookman said.

On top of influenza A, the B strain has arrived early.

“And we’re starting to see some influenza B, and so I am a little bit worried over the Christmas holidays, as people gather that there will be an explosion of influenza,” Schwab said.

The flu lasts about seven days and both doctors and educators recommend to stay home if you have a fever, and to remain home for at least 24 hours after it breaks.

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“You don’t need to stay home for all seven days, if your fever breaks on day three and you’re feeling better on day four, you can go back and that is true for any virus, it’s the fever or vomiting that’s going to keep you home. Not the stuffy nose,” Schwab said.

On top of flu a and B, Bookman said the district is now seeing COVID-19 numbers starting to creep up.

“We have watch that grow for the last week or so and so we know that’s coming, we were advised by the department of public health that we will see a rise in those numbers,” Bookman said.