Local News

Person, Chatham county students being treated for flu

Posted June 8, 2009 11:51 a.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2009 6:04 p.m. EDT

— Eight students who attend a Person County elementary school have “Type A” flu, the county health department said.

Person Memorial Hospital diagnosed four students over the weekend with “Type A,” a flu strain that includes the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu. Those students were kept home from South Elementary School in Roxboro Monday. A teacher from the school also has the virus, officials said.

"Right now, H1N1 is the dominant strain of Influenza "A" that is present in North Carolina and throughout the world," Person County Health Director Janet Clayton said.

Because Type A flu is rare at this time of year, the health department suggested that cases of Type A flu be treated as H1N1 as a precaution.

The students won't be tested further, Clayton said, because the treatments for H1N1 and other forms of Type A flu are the same.

Nurses and South Elementary School staff sent an additional 33 students home Monday after they exhibited flu-like symptoms.

"They had students actually showing up that actually had fevers over 100 (degrees)," Clayton said.

Custodial staff were scrubbing tables, doorknobs and bathrooms throughout the school Monday to sanitize the surfaces, Superintendent Dr. Larry Cartner said.

In Chatham County, health department officials reported three probable cases of H1N1 in children.

"All three have received medical care," said Holly Coleman, Chatham County public health director.

"We have been in conversation with the Chatham County school officials and based on guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not recommend dismissal of the school."

A Chatham County schools spokeswoman said the district sent a precautionary letter home to parents of the affected school Monday.