Two Calvert Students Had H1N1 Flu

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (May 21, 2009)—The Calvert County Health Department today notified Calvert County Public Schools that two students at Patuxent High School had confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza.

Both students have recovered but will not attend school for the remainder of the school year.

School officials are not closing Patuxent High School. This is in line with the current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"We are asking parents to remain alert to possible signs of the flu in their children," said Jack Smith, Superintendent in a statement. If students are sick, school officials ask that parents keep them home until they are cleared to return to school by a healthcare provider.

Smith sent a letter to staff and parents today informing them of the situation.

"Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to keep your child/children safe at school," Smith wrote in the letter.


May 21, 2009

Dear Parents,

Calvert County Public Schools received notification today from the Calvert County Health Department of two confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza involving students from Patuxent High School. While both students have recovered, they will not be in attendance at school for the remainder of this year.

We will continue to follow the recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Calvert County Health Department.

Specifically, CDC has recommended - and DHMH agrees - that it is no longer necessary to close schools because of H1N1 influenza.

This new recommendation does not mean the end of H1N1 influenza. DHMH continues to monitor cases of H1N1 flu and parents should remain alert to possible signs of the flu in their children. These signs include:

-- Fever (a temperature more than 100° F or 37.8° C) AND cough, sore throat, runny nose, or nasal stuffiness

-- Other symptoms can include body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, or, occasionally, vomiting and diarrhea

If your child has these symptoms, contact your doctor and the school. Parents are urged to keep sick children at home, unless your healthcare provider has requested to see the child. Make sure you call ahead to the doctor, so that your doctor can protect your child and others. Please do not send your child to school or daycare. If someone in your home is sick, keep him or her away from those who are not sick.

Children who may have the flu should be kept home for 7 days, even if they are feeling better. If they are not better by Day 7, they should be kept home until they have been well and fever-free for at least 24 hours.

The following are things you can do to reduce the chances of getting the H1N1 (swine) flu:

-- Teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.

-- Teach your children to cough and sneeze into a tissue or into the inside of their elbow.

-- Tissues should be discarded after a single use and hands washed.

-- Children who are sick should stay home from school or daycare and stay away from other people until they are better.

-- Check your children, and school faculty and staff should also self-monitor every morning for symptoms of influenza-like illness.

If your child is absent from school for any reason, please report the absence to your child's school. It is very important, while monitoring conditions such as these, for the school to have accurate information about absences.

Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to keep your child/children safe at school. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your school.


Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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