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Update on Flu in Tulsa Schools

Tulsa School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard discusses the H1N1 Virus in the Tulsa Public Schools.

By John Durkee


Tulsa, OK – An update for you on the H1N1 virus in the Tulsa Public Schools. There has been one confirmed case of the virus, better known as the swine flu, at the Jackson Elementary School at 2137 North Pittsburg.

Below is the text of a letter the Tulsa School District sent home with parents in the Jackson district on Monday:

May 11, 2009

RE: H1N1 Influenza in staff member at Jackson Elementary School

Dear Parents,
The Tulsa Health Department (THD) notified me Friday, May 8, that a Jackson Elementary staff member tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The individual experienced mild symptoms, did not require hospitalization and has made a full recovery. Additionally, the individual acted responsibly and stayed away
from school for the duration of the illness.

At this time, THD recommends Jackson remain open. Students and faculty who are not ill can safely come to school. Over the weekend, custodians conducted a thorough sanitation at Jackson to further protect the health of students and staff. We are working closely with THD to prevent the spread of H1N1.

Influenza is a respiratory virus spread mainly person to person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. Sometimes people are infected by touching something contaminated with flu virus and then touching their mouth or nose. You do not catch H1N1 by eating pork products.

To keep the flu from spreading, please keep sick children at home. Any children who are sick at school will be sent home. It is important to be alert for signs of illness in your children.

Symptoms of the flu include:
Fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, AND cough/sore throat
Other symptoms include headache, chills, muscle aches or fatigue, sore throat, and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not acting right
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash

Following are some ways you can slow the spread of germs:
Children who are sick should not attend school or go into the community except to seek medical care for at least seven days, even if symptoms resolve sooner.
Children who are still sick after seven days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
Teach children to wash their hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Teach children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow.
Teach children to avoid close contact with others who are sick.

Additional information on H1N1 flu and how to protect your family can be found at tulsaschools.org or via the TPS influenza hotline at 746 6760. We will keep you updated with any important information. If you have questions, please contact your school health assistant or healthcare provider.


Keith E. Ballard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools