Local & Regional
Mon August 31, 2009
Flu at Owasso
By John Durkee
Owasso, OK – Owasso is the latest school district to report the H-1-N-1 virus. A sixth grader has been confirmed to have the flu. School officials say the student will remain home from school for a week. The youngster had apparently been to a birthday party over the weekend. They are monitoring other children who were at the same party.
Below is a letter from the Owasso Superintendent:
As you may know flu can be easily spread from person to person. Therefore, we are taking steps to reduce the spread of flu in Owasso Public Schools. We want to keep the school open to students and functioning in a normal manner during this flu season. But, we need your help to do this.
We are working closely with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Tulsa County Health Department to monitor flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning schools. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available. If the flu becomes more severe, we may take additional steps to prevent the spread such as:
* Conducting fever and flu symptom screening of students and staff as they arrive at school,
* Making changes to increase the space between people such as moving desks farther apart and postponing class trips, and
* Dismissing students from school for at least 7 days if they become sick.
For now we are doing everything we can to keep our school functioning as usual. Here are a few things you can do to help.
Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. You can set a good example by doing this yourself.
Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues. Covering up their coughs and sneezes using the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand when a tissue is unavailable.
Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit, 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater) cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing drugs. Keeping children with a fever home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
Do not send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are determined to be sick while at school will be sent home.
Dr. Clark Ogilvie,
Superintendent Owasso Public Schools