H1N1 case ‘likely’ here

By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
Register Reporter

A student at McKinley Elementary School has “tested positive for Influenza A, which is likely H1N1,” Principal Lori Maxwell said in a letter sent home to parents Wednesday. A similar letter is being sent home today with students of Jefferson Elementary School, where another such case has been diagnosed, said USD 257 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Craig Neuenswander.
The cases will remain, officially, just Influenza A.
“The state of Kansas is not doing further testing unless someone is hospitalized,” said Diane Bertone, administrator at Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department. “No matter which flu you get, they are all being treated the same,” Bertone said.
Neuenswander said that while the H1N1 vaccine has now reached the state, doses sized for children are not yet available. When they are, an evening clinic for all USD 257 elementary children will be conducted at Jefferson Elementary School. Iola’s middle and high school students will receive the vaccine during their regular school day. Until then, both the school district and the health department say parents should watch their children for signs of illness, and if they are running a fever, keep them home. Parents should remain home with their children if they do have the flu, said Public Health Nurse Wendy Froggatte, as fevers could spike quickly.
District policy this year is that a student must be fever-free, without medication, for at least 24 hours before returning to classes.
And everyone, said Bertone, should wash and wash and wash their hands.