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Second student confirmed with swine flu

District officials continue to track absences, see no increase in cases

Posted: June 1, 2009 10:34 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2009 9:00 a.m.
A sixth-grade student at Skyblue Mesa Elementary School and a Sierra Vista Junior High School staff member both have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, school officials said Monday.

A Sierra Vista Junior High School student was diagnosed with swine flu last week.

After attending school Wednesday, the Skyblue Mesa student came home feeling ill and experiencing flu-like symptoms, said Keith Karzin, director of safety and risk management for the Saugus Union School District.

The student did not attend school Thursday, Friday and Monday, he said.

The parent called Skyblue Mesa's principal Saturday about the doctor's diagnosis of swine flu, who then notified Saugus Union officials about the illness, he said.

The student is doing fine and will be back at school today, Karzin said.

In an effort to notify the Skyblue community, the district posted an alert on its Web site and has been notifying parents, Karzin said.

All of Skyblue Mesa's sixth-grade classrooms, including doorknobs, keyboards and drinking fountains, were disinfected before school Monday, he said.

District officials continue to monitor the situation.

"We've been tracking the absences," Karzin said. "We really haven't seen much of a difference."

At Sierra Vista, William S. Hart Union High School District officials sent a message to all parents and staff notifying that a second case in a two-week period is no cause for alarm, said Hart district spokeswoman Pat Willett.

The staff member was feeling ill on Friday while at school, but left home early, Willett said. The employee returned to school Monday, but after the swine flu confirmation call, the employee left school, she said.

The staff member is "feeling much better," Willett said.

Attendance remains high at the junior high school despite the two cases of swine flu.

"Our absence rate is much below normal," she said.

There were no other new cases of confirmed swine flu in Sierra Vista students Monday, Willett said.

Los Angeles County Public Health has stopped tracking individual cases of the illness unless a person is hospitalized, or a cluster of cases is found.

"My understanding is the whole swine flu virus has been very mild in nature and it's basically like a typical flu," Karzin said.

Skyblue Mesa officials are continuing to remind students and parents about the basics of washing hands, covering coughs and staying home when ill.

"Since the whole thing started, we've been trying to really promote and encourage all of our students to promote and practice good hygiene," Karzin said.

The last day of school for Sierra Vista is Thursday while Saugus Union's last day is Friday.


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