Spe­cial help for flu-stricken school

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

St Paul’s Pri­mary School in Kar­ratha has been hit so hard by sick­ness that Pil­bara Pop­u­la­tion Health was called in.

In sev­eral letters ad­dressed to par­ents and car­ers posted on the St Paul’s Pri­mary School Facebook page last week, prin­ci­pal Gina Burns said “a high num­ber” of stu­dents had called in ab­sent be­cause of sick­ness with flu-like symp­toms such as a fever, chill, headache, mus­cle pain, sore throat and cough.

They said there had been three con­firmed cases of in­fluenza A and one con­firmed case of par­vovirus — which is caused by a dif­fer­ent virus than the one that in­fects dogs — among them.

Staff have also re­port­edly been af­fected, with the school hav­ing to al­legedly merge sev­eral classes and post­pone a char­ity “la­p­athon” event be­cause of low num­bers.

Pil­bara Pop­u­la­tion Health vis­ited St Paul’s last Wed­nes­day af­ter a call from the school re­quested their in­ter­ven­tion for a plan to stop any in­fec­tion spread­ing fur­ther.

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Pil­bara pub­lic health physi­cian Stephanie Davis said test­ing had shown the flu was the main ill­ness that had in­fected the school body.

“Some of the af­fected stu­dents have since had med­i­cal tests that show they are suf­fer­ing from in­fluenza (the flu) ... the Pil­bara is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing high lev­els of flu,” she said.

Other lo­cal schools and child­care cen­tres have since been sent no­tice of the preva­lence of flu.

Dr Davis said she rec­om­mended a flu shot as well as in­fected peo­ple stay­ing away from school, hand­wash­ing, and cov­er­ing the nose and mouth when cough­ing or sneez­ing.

“In the last two days the Kar­ratha school health nurse has held ses­sions on these tech­niques with all classes at St Paul’s,” she said.

A let­ter from Dr Davis posted on the St Paul’s Pri­mary School Facebook page last week said the school al­ready had good pro­ce­dures.

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