Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swine Flu is here....but please don't panic

This from a report just released via the SPASD Key Communicators List:

District e-News to Key Communicators:

We were informed after school was released on Wednesday that there has been a confirmed case of H1N1 Influenza (swine flu) at Westside Elementary School. Sending this information via email is the best way we had to get information to you as quickly as possible.

Westside will remain open, as usual. After-school activities will go on as scheduled. It is important for all of us to continue with business as usual so our children have the comfort of routine and continue learning. We have been informed by staff at Public Health – Madison & Dane County that it now appears that this influenza is not as dangerous as was once feared. It is not a cause for undo alarm.

Still, people with H1N1 are often uncomfortably sick. Also, people with other health problems may get sicker with this influenza, just as they would with the annual, seasonal influenza. Initially in this outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that when H1N1 influenza was diagnosed in a child or school staff, that the school be closed. They now know that closing schools does not prevent spread of the disease.

This child has not attended school this week and has been instructed to stay home for 7 days or until 24 hours after their symptoms have disappeared, whichever is longest. This is being done to help prevent the spread of disease to others. However, this influenza might spread before anyone knows that they are ill, so more cases might occur. Here’s what you can do to help prevent further spread of this disease:

  • Wash your hands and make sure your children are washing their hands even more frequently than usual

  • If you are coughing, cover your mouth – preferably by coughing into your sleeve

  • If anyone in your family develops symptoms of influenza, they should stay home and not have visitors. Call your doctor. If you do not have health insurance, call Public Health – Madison and Dane County at 266-4821.

A sick person should stay home for 7 days or until 24 hours after their symptoms have disappeared, whichever is longest.
Symptoms of H1N1 Influenza are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. The best sources of information about H1N1 influenza are these websites:


If you have further questions about H1N1 influenza, call 211 or Public Health – Madison and Dane County at 266-4821.

The safety and well being of our students and staff is our greatest priority. We know this is an anxious time and appreciate your cooperation as we all work to protect our community. We are working closely with health officials and will keep parents updated with any important information.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Dr. Tim Culver
District Administrator

Thomas L. Schlenker, Director
Public Health Madison & Dane County

Deb Brown, R.N.
District Nurse, Sun Prairie Area School District