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Front Page » May 5, 2009 » Carbon County News » Carbon's schools develop flu plan
Published 1,809 days ago

Carbon's schools develop flu plan


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

While there have been no cases of the swine flu reported in the county or eastern Utah, Carbon School District is taking steps to protect staff and children as much as possible should the swine flu show up in the area.

"We will do whatever we have to do to protect kids," said superintendent Patsy Bueno on Monday. "Currently we are in touch with the health department to be sure we are covering all the bases."

Bueno indicated that Carbon is ready to implement a plan that has been used in other school districts for emergencies 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 youth may be present or congregate.

Last week, Park City School District closed its doors for a few days because some students who had gone to Mexico on a spring trip apparently came down with the illness. But many of the students went to malls in the area and congregated with other kids.

The purpose of closing down schools to keep children away from one another was basically negated by the actions of the Park City 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 parents, the district listed the signs of the flu. The symptoms outlined by the district included a fever of more than 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.

•Dehydration.

•Fast breathing.

•Bluish skin coloration.

•Slow to wake up and sluggish interaction with others.

•Flu-like symptoms improve then they return and the cough worsens.

•Severe irritability.

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.

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