Thursday, October 22, 2009

Local student diagnosed with H1N1 - swine flu

Received via email.

October 22, 2009

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We have been advised that one of our students has been diagnosed with pandemic influenza H1N1 or swine flu. The student will remain home until the doctor has given permission to return to school. Our school community at Holy Family School is taking this flu season very seriously and following measures outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In addition to the case of swine flu, we have seen students with the regular flu, strep, and a stomach virus, so please do not assume, if your child is sick, that they have H1N1.

At our school, students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands frequently. Also, surfaces that are regularly touched or handled are disinfected often. We also ask that any student who has a fever accompanied by a cough or sore throat be kept home from school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now stipulates that a student with the flu will need to stay home until he or she is fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, (Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). In most cases, a child would be fever-free anywhere from three to five days.

With a confirmed case of influenza H1N1 at our school, we would like to reiterate some important information you received in a recent parent communication about this new flu strain.

We encourage you to speak to your children about taking the following everyday precautions to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses such as influenza H1N1—wash hands often with soap and water, keep nails trimmed and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It would be helpful to discuss, as a family, plans for caring for your child, should he or she develop the flu.

Parents may also want to consider having children vaccinated against seasonal flu and this new flu strain. Recently, persons between ages five and 24 were identified as a priority group to receive the vaccine for the H1N1 flu strain. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has begun distribution of the H1N1 vaccine. We have not been told whether we will or will not be a distribution site, so you may want to pursue other options for vaccination. If I receive any further information from the Department of Health, I will pass it along to you.

For more information on the flu, and how you can protect your family, please visit,, and

As always, the safety of our students remains my first priority. Please feel free to contact me directly with any concerns, questions or feedback.


Ann Marie Braca, Principal
Holy Family School

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