Health Department looks into possible swine flu case in Lee County
The Lee County Health Department is investigating a suspect case of swine influenza in a school-age child, officials said today.
This is the first suspect case being investigated in Lee County.
“In an attempt to prevent the spread of swine flu, we are monitoring and working with the Lee County School District, families and close contacts of the student,” said LCHD Director Judith A. Hartner, M.D., in a prepared statement.
While this case has not yet been confirmed, the LCHD and district officials have determined that schools should remain open and operate under normal school hours, including before and after school programs. Precautionary steps being taken the student’s school, which include:
Special areas have been designated for children who are symptomatic
Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures where appropriate
Increased awareness and observation by staff to identify symptomatic students
“The health of students and staff is our primary concern and therefore we are taking appropriate precautionary measures under the direction of health department officials,” said Dr. James Browder, superintendent of schools, in a prepared statement.
School district and LCHD are monitoring the situation very closely and will take additional steps if it becomes necessary, officials said. Lee County parents have been informed of the situation and provided with information on what they should do if they think or their child may have been exposed to swine flu.
Officials said as with other infectious illnesses, one of the most important preventive practices is careful and frequent hand-washing. Cleaning your hands often, using soap and water to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission. Also, remember when coughing use either a tissue or cough into your sleeve but never your hands.
The swine flu outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected, officials said. For more information concerning swine flu and affected areas go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu or you may contact the state information line at 1-800-342-3557.