H1N1 virus hits KZN school

2015-06-18 12:06

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Durban - Three Clifton College pupils in Durban have been booked off sick after they contracted the highly contagious H1N1 flu at the weekend, the principal said on Thursday.

Brian Mitchell confirmed that the parents had informed the Morningside private school that the children were ill.

“We have limited cases as do other schools, I am told,” said Mitchell.

The school’s communications and public relations officer Jess Basson said three parents with pupils in Grade 3 notified the principal over the long weekend.

“The school sent out emails on Tuesday alerting all the other parents. The three pupils have been booked off and can’t return to school without medical clearance certificates from their doctors,” said Basson.

More cases in schools

Another school, Ashton International College in Ballito, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, recorded three cases last month.

Head of the junior college at the school, Flick Holmes, said the children had been cleared of the virus and had returned to school.

“After we learnt of the cases we sent out letters to the parents informing them that there was an aggressive flu going around, we also advised them to get their kids vaccinated if they felt the need to, we left it entirely up to them,” said Holmes.

A Durbanville school, in Cape Town, told News24 that two pupils had contracted the flu last week Friday. The principal of Gene Louw Primary, Andre van der Westhuizen also sent out letters to parents after learning about the cases.

Person-to-person spread

Information provided on the KZN Health Department’s website states that the H1N1 Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

The department lists preventative measures like covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. The department suggests that people wash their hands with soap and water regularly, especially after the person coughs or sneezes.

“Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because that is how germs spread. Stay home if you get sick. We [the Department of Health] recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them,” reads the website.

KZN Education Department’s Muzi Mahlambi was unavailable to comment and neither was Agiza Hlongwane from the KZN Department of Health.

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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