Schools prepare just in case
While there have been no cases of the swine flu reported in Carbon County, or even in all of eastern Utah, Carbon School District is taking steps to protect staff and children as much as possible should the malady show up in the area.
"We will do whatever we have to do to protect kids," said superintendent Patsy Bueno on Monday morning. "Currently we are in touch with the health department to be sure we are covering all the bases."
Bueno says that the district is ready to use a plan that has been used in other school districts for emergencies such as is occuring in other parts of the country.
At present the only flu reported in the area is of the seasonal varieties that usually occur this time of year.
On Friday the school district sent a letter home to parents detailing what to do and how things will be handled should an outbreak occur. In the letter the district cautioned parents that if an outbreak occurs and schools must be closed they should not send children to places where other children may be present or congregate.
Last week when the Park City School District closed it's doors for a few days because some students who had gone to Mexico on a spring trip apparently came down with the illness, many students went to malls in the area and congregated with other kids. The use of closing down schools to keep children away from one another was basically negated by the actions of those parents and students.
"We are asking some basic things out of people, to prevent the spread of anything that may come our way," stated Bueno. "For instance we are asking that if a child is sick they be kept home. Other things such as washing hands regularly and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing are important too."
In the letter to parent the district listed the signs of the flu for those who may not realize what transpires when people get it. The letter stated that symptoms include fever over 100 degrees, a cough, a sore throat, runny and stuffy noses. Those having it may also experience muscle pain, tiredness, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.
There were also some specific signs to watch for in kids as well.
Fever with a rash.
Bluish skin coloration.
Slow to wake up and sluggish interaction with others.
Flu-like symptoms improve then they return and the cough worsens.
The district will continue to monitor the situation through the health department and will make determinations based on their advice on what to do.
"We have plans we are working on to create some isolation rooms if we need to and may even use masks in some cases if needed, but that will depend on what happens," said Bueno.
Right now nothing in the area is raising red flags concerning the disease which has been officially designated nationally as H1N1 flu. The disease, while present in some pig populations, is called a "species jumper" but the disease in the United States has been passed from person to person as far as the Center for Disease Control can ascertain.