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Update on H1N1 influenza (swine flu)

May 12, 2009


On May 8 the St. Louis County Health Department announced that a student at Pattonville High School and another at Normandy High School had been diagnosed with H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu).  While there have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 in Parkway, I want to keep you informed and clarify how Parkway will respond if we have a confirmed case.

For several weeks, Parkway’s health services team has been closely monitoring the Swine Flu outbreak.  Our nurses and custodial staff are doing an excellent job keeping our schools clean and safe.  As a precaution, we sent an informational letter to parents and staff on April 27 and another update on May 1 with tips on keeping children healthy and safe.  Our district crisis team met on May 6 and we continue to work closely with state and local health officials, receiving numerous updates each day as the situation changes.

In recent days, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the current H1N1 flu is not as harmful as originally thought.  Because of this, the CDC and area health officials are not recommending closing schools simply because of a confirmed or suspected case of H1N1. Instead, this flu is being treated like any other seasonal flu that impacts schools every year.

In Parkway, we will continue to sanitize our classrooms and buildings and emphasize healthy practices such as hand washing and covering coughs.  Sick students and staff should stay home if they have flu-like symptoms and contact their doctor as well as the school office.  Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Please keep us informed if any of your children become ill with these symptoms.

Moving forward, we will continue to be vigilant and do whatever we can to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.  If we have a confirmed case of H1N1 in Parkway, we will utilize the AlertNow rapid communications system to keep you informed.  You can help by keeping your emergency contact information up to date at your school and by using these tips -- Talking with Children About Swine Flu -- when talking to your child about Swine Flu.

For more information, please contact your school’s nurse or visit the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.   You may also contact Lisa Harnacker, Parkway’s manager of health services, at (314) 415-5064.


Bob Malito