CBS2 News reports the flu virus is hitting hard this month and is knocking kids out of class.

At the end of February, the Iowa Department of Public Health's influenza surveillance reported 12 Iowa schools with more than 10% of their students absent due to illness.

Now a more recent report shows that number two times higher, at 25 schools. In Eastern Iowa's District 6, a total of twelve schools saw more than 10% of their enrolled students out sick that week.

Parents are urged to keep their kids home if they're sick as the flu spreads easily through coughing or sneezing.

The department also reminds parents to get their kids flu vaccinations, if they haven't already had one this season. The flu is listed as widespread throughout the U.S.A. and the Iowa Department of Public Health reports at least 20 flu-related deaths this season, including one child.