Swine Flu Not A Big Deal For District 51

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

As a result of the Swine Flu, many schools across the nation are closing their doors to prevent the virus from spreading to children. From Tennessee to Texas school districts are acting out of caution and closing down. In neighboring Utah an entire district has shut it's doors but with only a handful of suspected cases in Colorado, school district 51 isn't taking any extreme action.

The Swine Flu epidemic is sweeping across the country but with no confirmed cases in Mesa County, for many families it's just business as usual. And for school district 51, there is no cause for alarm just yet. The bells in mesa county class rooms are still ringing at normal times. There have been no cancellations but because schools are such a hotbed for the spread of germs district officials do want to get the word out.

Jeff Kirtland, of District 51 says, "we will be sending information home to all our parents with some preventative information and updates." Officials say that if your child is sick, the best thing you can do is keep them home and treat the symptoms. They also say that if you have any questions about what to do, you should call your health care provider, not your child's school.

Here is a copy of the memo that is being sent home with students:

Students, Parents, Guardians, and Staff:
In the wake of the increasing spread of H1N1 “Swine” flu cases across the United States, School District 51 is working closely with the Mesa County Health Department to monitor the situation and build awareness. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has confirmed two cases in Colorado, both related to travel. These cases were confirmed in Eastern Colorado.
Based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the District has outlined a response process for schools only if there is a confirmed case in District 51 Schools. The District would immediately begin dismissal and closure procedures only if the Mesa County Health Department confirms a case within a school. NO SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED AT THIS TIME. Parents need to be prepared to make plans for childcare should schools need to close.
Prevention Strategies: Remember that H1N1 “Swine” flu is passed from person to person, and not from pigs or from eating pork or pork products. Parents should continue to reinforce the implementation of prevention strategies such as:
1. Routine handwashing
2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by coughing or sneezing into your elbow
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
4. Avoid others with respiratory illness
5. Stay at home if you have mild-flu like illness and limit contact with others.
Signs and symptoms of H1N1 “Swine” flu:
These are similar to those of seasonal influenza and include the following:
1. Fever
2. Lethargy
3. Headache
4. Body aches
5. Cough
6. Sore throat
7. May experience diarrhea and/or vomiting
Should you have additional questions or need additional information contact:  CoHELP – 1-877-462-2911 248-6989 Pre-recorded information line www.health.mesacounty.us
Thank you, Mesa County Valley School District 51 Administration

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