PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (May 30, 2009)—Nine students at Huntingtown Elementary School had a mild form of pneumonia during May, according to a press release issued by the Calvert County public school system on Friday.
School officials sent a letter to parents of children at the school asking them to keep sick children home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours. The infection is most likely one of the most common community-acquired pneumonias, said school officials in the letter.
According to the Calvert County Health Department, symptoms include fever and cough, and sometimes the individual has a sore throat and headache. Generally, the symptoms last for about 10 days. The pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, say health officials.
In a letter to parents, Dr. David Rogers, Calvert County Health Officer, said that the illness is spread from child to child by either close contact or by coughing within the vicinity of other children.
To help prevent spreading the illness, school and health department officials recommend that individuals practice good hand washing and personal hygiene. In his letter, Rogers also said that individuals should cover their mouths when coughing.