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Early seasonal illnesses stoke swine flu fears

Original post made on Oct 26, 2009

Parents with children in the Mountain View Whisman School District are expressing worries that some kids may already have contracted the H1N1 virus this season, but school officials say they are tracking the disease and so far have not seen an unusual number of illnesses.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 26, 2009, 1:21 PM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Where's the leadership on this issue. We are getting declarations from a secretary. And this is not about confidentiality of students who have been out sick, it's about the all mighty dollar and the money the district loses if students stay home sick.

Many parents at Castro wouldn't know how to recognize children with the flu anyway. The school district needs to be more involved and COMMUNICATE not obfuscate.

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Posted by parent of sick kid
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2009 at 4:29 pm

The flu cases are not confirmed because the doctors are not testing for the h1n1. I was told by the doctor that any flu cases now are h1n1 because seasonal flu is not circulating yet. The test is inaccuarate (about 40% of the results are false negatives) and is really only used if the parent demands it or if the child needs tamiflu (which won't work on the seasonal flu virus but will work on h1n1).

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Posted by TaxPayerToo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Regarding Larry's comment... Mountain View/Whisman school district is in "Basic Aid" financing this year. This means that they are NOT getting per student, per day funding. They get a fixed amount of money regardless of the number of students. So, they will not be afraid of losing money when kids stay home that are sick.

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Posted by Martha
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm

The H1N1 has been going around, as parent of sick kid noted. My kids' schools (Graham and MVHS) have had a few kids out, but not large numbers. I don't really know what sort of "leadership" the district should be providing. Chasing the viruses out of the schools? They are doing exactly what the High School district is doing--making sure the parents, teachers and kids are informed (via emails, phone messages, postings on the website) telling people steps to try and stay healthy, what do do if you have symptoms, etc. I received an email and a recorded message from Graham about the flu a couple of weeks ago. They have sent stuff home in school newsletters. There's stuff on the website. I think they have hand sanitizer in all the classrooms, and the teachers are encouraging kids to wash their hands, sneeze into their elbows, cover coughs, don't share water, etc. etc. etc.

I'm sure these things have happened at Castro, too, and in Spanish as well as English. I think the flu is the same in kids who speak Spanish, so I'm sure the Castro parents are perfectly capable of recognizing flu symptoms in their kids. Last I checked, not speaking English does not make one stupid.

I really don't know what you want them to do. There's hardly any vaccine available, so even if they decide to vaccinate kids they can't. Honestly, to say they aren't doing anything because they don't lose money if the kids are out sick, hence they don't care, is just absurd.

I do know that no matter how many times and how many ways you try and communicate information to a large group of people, you will have a significant percentage who will never see the fliers, listen to the messages, etc. and will claim they have heard nothing about it. Ask any PTA president or someone who has organized a fundraiser or field trip, etc.

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Posted by Evan
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 5, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Martha, get a clue, this is about the lack of leadership coming from a high-priced superintendent with serious ethics issues. The complaint here would appear to be that he's got his secretary doing his job.

From my observations, if Ghysels' ego doesn't benefit directly and personally from an issue, he passes it off to one of his underlings to handle.

This is could very well become Ghysels' hurricane Katrina, yet he opts out on leading.

Glad I could educate you.

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