Seven staff members called in with flu-like symptoms at the Lighthouse School Tuesday, prompting public health officials to investigate a potential flu outbreak.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar and Health Services Authority staff have met with the Education and Health ministries’ Chief Officers and the Chief Education Officer to discuss the best approach.
‘As a first step public health officials will test all symptomatic staff to see if we are really dealing with the flu,’ Dr. Kumar said. ‘The test results are due tonight and based on the results, the Education and Health ministries will determine the next step.
‘This is exactly the kind of situation we were preparing ourselves for and our preparations are paying off. Seamless cooperation is invaluable when responding to a possible flu outbreak.’
If it is a flu outbreak, it is unknown at this time if it is the H1N1 virus or a different strain of flu.
Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler said the school will remain open and teachers will immediately adopt additional preventative measures.
‘In keeping with the Education Department’s contingency plans, we were able to redeploy staff to keep the school open. However, our first priority remains the safety and health of our children,’ Mrs. Wahler said.
She confirmed that parents will receive letters from the department detailing the situation.
‘We will keep parents as updated as possible, and they should not hesitate to contact the school or the Education Department should they have questions or concerns,’ she said.
‘Staying home when you are sick, keeping sick children out of school and frequent hand washing remain the best defenses against flu,’ Dr. Kumar concluded.
For more information on H1N1 visit www.CaymanPrepared.ky or www.hsa.ky. The Health Services Authority also offers the public direct responses to their flu queries through its flu email and message system – [email protected]. This complements the 24-hour flu hotline (926-2812) manned by HSA staff.