Brisbane school hit by mass flu outbreak

Authorities hope a three-day break from regular classes will stop an "extraordinary" flu outbreak at a Brisbane primary school, with nearly 200 pupils and 15 staff hit with the bug.

Middle Park State School will operate with a skeleton staff on Friday after the principal Anne Kitchin wrote to parents urging them to keep their kids home.

A team of cleaners is scrubbing down classrooms after outbreaks of both influenza A and B affected over 180 students - about a third of students at the school.

While the school will accept students on Friday, parents have been told to do what they can to make alternative arrangements.

Education department Regional Director Helen Kenworthy said they hoped a break from regular classes until Monday would allow them to thoroughly clean the school and get ahead of the outbreak.

"We didn't feel we needed to close the school completely because there still could be a number of students who potentially still needed to come to school," Ms Kenworthy said.

"An additional cleaning team will come in and we're working through all the classrooms to sanitise, to disinfect desktops, doorhandles, all those things that children touch each day.

"By Monday we'd expect to have eliminated all the germs as much as possible and we'd have children back as normal."

The school is expected to open as normal on Monday, however Ms Kenworthy said any sign that the outbreak was gaining steam again and they would send children home a second time.

Queensland Health is advising the school about how best to respond to the incident.

Metro South Public Health Unit Physician Kari Jarvinen said there didn't appear to be anything unusual about the strain of flu causing the outbreak.

"One key thing that we emphasise not just for this school but in general is it is so important for sick children and adults to stay away from the school or childcare or workplace," Dr Jarvinen said.

"When sick children go to school they keep spreading the bug quite easily because influenza is quite easily spread, and then you get big outbreaks."

He said the incident highlighted the need for people to get a flu vaccination, stressing it still wasn't too late for people to get one.

Australian Associated Press