Student has 'likely case' of swine flu

DOWNEY - A fifth grade student at Old River Elementary School was stricken with a "likely case" of H1N1 - commonly referred to as the swine flu - but has recovered and is now back in school, county health officials said Monday.In a letter sent to Old River Elementary parents and staff over the weekend, health officials downplayed the incident, adding that "the student is now no longer sick and has fully recovered and has returned to school." Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director and health officer for the Los Angeles County Public Health, confirmed tests were underway to determine if the student had indeed contracted swine flu, but offered no further details, including when, how and where the student came down with the influenza. "We don't talk about individuals," he said. On the recommendation of county health officials, no classes were canceled at Old River Elementary, but sick students were advised to stay home, said Dr. Wendy Doty, superintendent of Downey Unified School District. Students, parents and staff were also urged to wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. According to the letter sent to parents, H1N1 "is spread from person-to-person, mostly from the coughs and sneezes of sick people. The virus can also be spread by sharing objects (drinks, eating utensils) or close contact (hugs, kisses) with an infected person." Health officials urged residents not to take Tamiflu for routine illnesses, not to give aspirin to children, and not to visit emergency rooms or hospitals for treatment and instead see your regular doctor.

********** Published: May 8, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 3