2009-11-05 / Front Page

Swine flu confirmed in both Jamestown schools

By Dara Chadwick

It’s official: The H1N1 virus has arrived in Jamestown.

Parents were alerted last week via telephone and email that three cases of H1N1 virus have been confirmed in Melrose School students, while two cases of H1N1 virus have been confirmed in Lawn Avenue School students.

On Monday, School Nurse Renie Sullivan said that 19 percent of Lawn students were absent, as were 20 percent of Melrose students.

“The percentages are actually down today,” said Sullivan, adding that the figure did not take into account students who were absent because of vacation — or those whose parents were simply keeping them home.

A voluntary vaccination clinic was scheduled for Melrose School students last Tuesday evening. Students under the age of 10 will receive a second booster shot in January, according to the school’s “Warrior” newsletter.

A H1N1 vaccination clinic has been scheduled for Lawn students on Monday, Nov. 16, during the school day. Consent forms should be turned in to the front office by Friday, Nov. 13.

Although the school vaccination clinics are completely voluntary, Sullivan warned that students who do not get the vaccine at school may have to wait until the vaccine becomes available at their doctor’s office, most likely in January.

“If you don’t get it here in school, they’re probably not going to have it in the pediatrician’s offi ce,” she said.

But H1N1 isn’t the only threat to student and staff health that the schools are dealing with right now, according to Sullivan.

“We’re also seeing strep, bronchitis, pneumonia and stomach virus,” she said.

Hand-washing remains a vital component in stopping the spread of germs, and rest and fluids are a major part of the treatment, Sullivan said. She asked parents to call in with symptoms when their child is going to be absent so that she can better monitor the spread of illness.

For more information about H1N1 and seasonal flu, visit www. flu.gov.

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