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October 2, 2009

Possible swine flu outbreak in Walnut Creek schools


UPDATE: Walnut Creek School District Superintendent Patricia Wool sent out an advisory Friday afternoon to parents. She noted that "flu is in our community" without mentioning the words "swine flu" or "H1N1" as being involved in recent illnesses cropping up in the district's elementaries or middle school.

Some Murwood parents have contacted me and said it has been "confirmed" that two kids at their school were diagnosed with the dreaded H1N1. Okay, maybe it's not so "dreaded," at least in these and other cases so far. The readers and Wool say that whatever flu-like illness is hitting students right now--H1N1 or not--is "mild to moderate." Wool specifically describes it as "similar to seasonal flu."

Wool goes on to say: Our schools are following Contra Costa County Public Health Department's flu prevention recommendations by:

--Sending children with fever home and enforcing a 24-hour fever-free policy before returning
--Encouraging everyone to cover coughs and sneezes
--Providing soap, paper towels, tissues, and alcohol hand sanitizer
--Cleaning the school as recommended by CCPH
--Sharing attendance information with CCPH
EARLIER FRIDAY: A reader alerted me to the fact the doctors of two families whose children attend Murwood Elementary had diagnosed their children as having swine flu, based on symptoms these kids presented.

She added that an unusually high number of students at the school have been out sick, and that some Walnut Creek Intermediate School students, who have siblings at Murwood, might also have been hit with H1N1. Fortunately, the reader said, all the cases have been mild and not required any special treatment.

That's why those two kids with H1N1 didn't have their diagnoses confirmed by blood tests. Those tests are only performed on people who are hospitalized.

What she says about students at WCI sounds right. My son and his friend were talking about a lot of kids in their classes coughing and sniffling.

I'll check with the school district, and see if they have received word of H1N1 cases circulating. Claycord.com says that there was a reported case of H1N1 at Mt. Diablo Elementary.

In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Contra Costa County Health Department won't close any schools due to an outbreak. Both the CDC and the Health Department say that people with influenza-like illness should stay at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever of 100 degrees or above, or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. But my reader said that one doctor's office said if your child or you has a fever for more than 72 hours or a bad cough for longer than four or five days, you should call the doctor back.

It sounds like H1N1 didn't want to give some people a chance to get their vaccines. Based on a Health Department recommendation, the school district is strongly encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated, once it becomes available.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's also a classic, run-of-the-mill, bad cold that's running through WCI. Of course, swine flu sounds much more interesting to an 11-13 year old so I'm sure they're all claiming that.

Anonymous said...

Symptons of H1N1 can be different for everyone. Small as cough and runny nose, to fever, throw up, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yep, two confirmed cases at Murwood. Several kids out. My son had a fever, dizziness, headache, runny nose and body aches. I didn't have him tested because you have to go to Children's for that test. (which stinks when your child is sick)

Anonymous said...

Standard illness. Just like any other year.

Last year only 5 kids made it to a class of 22. Could've been H1N1,we all survived.

Wash your hands, get your sleep, eat healthy. If you get sick take it easy / monitor you kids.

Just like any other year...

Anonymous said...

If you have Kaiser - FREE flu shots! No appt needed! (they have regular seasonal shots currently, but H1N1 shots will be available in Nov.)

Saturdays beginning Oct 3 9AM to 1 PM at the Martinez, Pleasanton and Antioch locations.

Tues, Wed, Thurs beginning Oct 6 10AM to 6PM in Walnut Creek location.

Just look for tent near parking structure and be sure to bring your Kaiser card and ID.

Anonymous said...

My daughter, a student at Murwood, now has a terrible flu-- fever, vomiting, sniffles, coughing the whole gamit. But the doctor is not testing? How do I know if it is H1N1? I don't want to have her immunized if she already has it.

Margaret Kowalski said...

Finally, a blog that isn't trying to sell me something! From my personal experiences as a physician, I've learned that flu shots are very important for all people, especially the elderly and young children.

Margaret Kowalski said...

Finally, a blog that isn't trying to sell me something! From my personal experiences as a physician, I've learned that <a href="http://www.inhousephysicians.com>flu shots</a> are very important for all people, especially the elderly and young children.