News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
29th April 2009

Swine flu confirmed in Lowell

posted in Education, Healthy Living, In the News, Youth |

Two students from a Lowell parochial school have been confirmed to have swine flu. The students and their mother, who is a paraprofessional in the public schools, never attended school since returning from their vacation in Mexico, which means their exposure to others has been limited and did not include school buses or classrooms. Given confirmation of their illness, the students and their mother will not be returning to school until this is behind them. Lowell schools will also follow the protocol recommended by the Mass. Dept of Public Health, which allows that students and school staff who have recently traveled to an area where swine flu cases have been confirmed and who do not have symptoms may attend school. (Keep in mind, the flu has a 24-hour incubation period.) Obviously, everyone is on heightened alert, and school nurses will be educating staff and children about ways to avoid exposure. According to the Mass. DPH website on influenza, you can protect yourself and others from swine flu the same way you protect yourself from seasonal flu: Avoid holding, hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with anyone who has a cold or the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes, and clean areas that are touched often like door handles and telephones.

Yesterday, Lowell Public School students were sent home with an advisory from the state that included preventative information; additional information will come home with students today in English, Khmer, Portuguese and Spanish as needed as well as a ConnectEd phone call being made to parents at 5 pm tonight. If you have other questions, the Health Department advises calling Massachusetts Resources at the toll-free number:1-877-211-6277 or for more on the swine flu, check the Center for Disease Control website.

There is currently one response to “Swine flu confirmed in Lowell”

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  1. 1 On May 9th, 2009, Kim said:

    We received the recorded call on Friday that a child from my daughters school had the swine flu and that he was out all week and that he was not contagious the week prior when he attended. I guess I am just a bit confused because they said the incubation was 24-48 hours. I am a bit disturbed that at least a hand-washing/sanitizer protocol has not been initiated. This seems like common sense to have the children be clean after touching things in the lunchroom, playground, etc. It can not be a financial thing because the teachers always say they do not need anything (hand sanitizer) I asked my 5 year old when they wash their hands and she said never.

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