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Hart district outlines swine flu precautions

Posted: April 28, 2009 5:28 p.m.
Updated: April 28, 2009 5:34 p.m.
Although no confirmed clusters of swine flu have been identified in the Santa Clarita Valley or even the Los Angeles region as of today, the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District has released a list of precautions that students and families can take to avoid catching or spreading the swine flu in particular and any virus in general.

"There is no cause for panic," reminds Christine Amstutz, the Hart District supervisor of health services. The emergency declarations by the U.S. Department of Health and the State of California are simply necessary to release monies and resources in case an epidemic does materialize.

In the meantime, Hart District schools are emphasizing basic health precautions for students and families:
* Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing and sneezing. Soap and water are effective, as are alcohol-based hand cleaners.
* Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the used tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, use the inside of the elbow rather than the hand to screen a cough or sneeze.
* Children running a temperature of 100 degrees or higher should be kept at home.
* Face masks are unnecessary for members of the general public unless they are sick or working with a sick person.

"Swine flu is treated in the same way as regular influenza-with good hygiene practices and plenty of rest at home, away from work or school," Amstutz continued. "This type of flu can be treated with an antiviral medication if it is started early. Check with your physician first."

The Hart District provides hand cleaning stations at all of its schools with an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Students are encouraged to use wash their hands before and after eating and to avoid putting their hands to their mouths or noses.


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