3 swine flu cases in MontCo, possible ones in Phila., NJ

June 4, 2009 4:18:57 PM PDT
2 of the cases are in Cheltenham Township, one is a North Penn High School student, and the 4 is in the Pottsgrove district - at the northwestern end of the county.

The superintendent of the Cheltenham Township schools says that a student at Elkins Park Intermediate School, and one at the Cedarbrook Middle School have each been confirmed to be sick with swine flu.

School officials tell Action News there are no other students sick with similar illnesses in the schools. However, crews began stepped-up cleaning and disinfection at each school when the diagnose came in.

Parents of the sick children say they are recovering.

In Pottsgrove, a letter posted on the district's website says tests came back positive for an 11-year-old male student at Lower Pottsgrove elementary school.

And the North Penn school district says that a student who was out for more than a week was officially diagnosed as having swine flu.

That student has now recovered, and been cleared to go back to school.

Meantime, parents at schools in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, N.J., are dealing with flu-like illnesses.

At the Hunter School in Philadelphia, parents received a letter stating several students have been diagnosed with a flu-like respiratory illness.

Tracey Ransom took her son Isiah out of school from William H. Hunter Elementary School in Kensington.

She says he's not sick with flu symptoms but several of his classmates are.

"It's spread too fast- a lot of kids are sick and they all have the same symptoms," she told Action News.

School officials there sent a letter home to parents, after at least 30 kids were sent home sick on Wednesday with a flu-like respiratory illness.

The letter points out that the swine flu does not appear to be more severe than the season flu, and the closing of a school is no longer recommended or necessary.

If sick, they are also asked to stay home for 7 days.

The Philadelphia Health Department is now investigating the illnesses.

Some students will be tested for the H1N1 swine flu virus.

Relatives hope that's not what's going around.

Grandparent Robert Howell says, "I hope so I really do because some people have died from that already."

Still it's unclear what's causing the problem, but officials are following guidelines. Sick students are asked to stay home for at least 7 days.

Meanwhile a similar situation is unfolding at Pennsauken Intermmediate School in New Jersey.

As many as 70 students were absent there over the past 2 days, 56 reportedly have flu-like symptoms.

The Philadelphia School District is doing the following things to minimize the possible spread of the flu:

  • All school nurses have received information about this new type of flu and are actively working to make sure that sick children are recognized. They are working with teachers to make sure that children who are ill at school are separated and sent home
  • All facility and building engineers and maintenance staff are working to make sure that schools have sufficient supplies of soap and paper towels in the bathrooms.
  • Teachers and nurses are promoting hand washing and good respiratory hygiene (cough etiquette) to all students.

RELATED INFORMATION:

FAQs about swine flu
Additional swine flu resources
Transcript of 6abc.com's swine flu chat with local experts

RELATED LINKS:

CDC Swine Flu site
World Health Organization

RELATED INTERACTIVE:

Swine flu cases around the world

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