Roaring Fork Valley schools keep a close watch for swine flu cases | PostIndependent.com

Roaring Fork Valley schools keep a close watch for swine flu cases

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Roaring Fork School District Re-1 officials are on heightened alert for any students or staff exhibiting symptoms of possible swine flu.

“We’re receiving regular information updates from the (Colorado) public health department on what symptoms to watch for and other precautions,” Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said Tuesday. “We’re also being extra vigilant with any kid who’s exhibiting symptoms, and get them to go home if need be.”

Information on what to watch for and other necessary precautions is also being sent home to parents via students at Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools, she said.

Schools are of particular concern as state health officials brace for a possible spread of swine flu to Colorado. As of Tuesday, 64 cases of swine flu had been confirmed in the United States, mostly in New York, California and Texas.

Schools have been closed in those states, as well as in Mexico where the latest outbreak began. More than 100 deaths in Mexico have been linked to swine flu.

As of Tuesday, no cases of swine flu had been confirmed in Colorado. However, state health officials are taking every precaution.

The protocol is the same for all school districts, Haptonstall said. If a case is suspected, the student would be isolated and undergo some type of testing to confirm what they’re dealing with.

“If a case does show up and public health is concerned enough, they could ask us to close the schools,” Haptonstall said.

The district is also keeping tabs on any students or families who may have recently traveled back and forth between Colorado and Mexico or any of the states where swine flu cases have been confirmed, she said.

Officials throughout the Roaring Fork Valley are working together to raise awareness about avoiding the flu during the swine flu outbreak.

Individuals of all ages who show flu-like symptoms are being asked to stay home from work or school, and to see a doctor.

Pitkin County officials have scheduled a press conference for 11:30 a.m. today to answer questions about swine flu and local outreach efforts.

People can catch swine flu from other people or from pigs, but not from eating pork, according to the CDC. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include fever greater than 100, sore throat, cough and stuffy nose, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

For more information about swine flu, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu. Questions can also be directed via telephone, toll free to 1-877-462-2911.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

jstroud@postindependent.com


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