Local Schools Respond to Swine Flu Scare

April 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Here in the valley local schools are being cautious when it comes to the swine flu. While there have been no reported cases in Fresno County, schools are working with health officials to keep kids safe.Fresno Unified's health director Diane Torna said it's nothing new to have a student complain about a tummy ache or simply not feeling well.

"We always have sick kids."

But now every sick child is getting more scrutiny because of the swine flu outbreak. Administrators at Fresno, Clovis and Central Unified are in close contact with the County Health Department. The districts are also preparing to send letters home with information about swine flu prevention. Torna said Fresno unified is screening sick kids with high fevers.

"Greater than 100, either a cough, sore throat, or headache we will send those students home."

If a student is identified with swine flu at Clovis Unified, Kelly Avants said school officials will contact the health department before taking action.

"Anything to notifying a family member that might have come in contact with that student to closing down a school."

Closing down a school would be a last resort for the school district. Avants said it may help that not as many students from across the Valley traveled to Mexico on mission trips or to visit relatives during spring break.

"Because of the some of the unrest that's occurring near the border right now a lot of them didn't go this year."

Central Unified School District administrator Kevin Wagner said with school testing beginning this week and it's a tough time to have a health scare. Wagner said if students are well, they should be in school.

"Testing season is here. We're confident we'll get through this and have a high level of participation."

But if your child is truly sick, Chad Wood with Central Unified said it's better for them to stay home and recover.

"Make up days are built in our testing schedule. So if students are sick, they can make up the test."

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