School officials monitoring swine flu

Staff reports

Ascension Parish Schools officials are closely monitoring the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, according to Superintendent Donald Songy.

School administrators have been in contact with state health officials to obtain up-to-date guidelines and recommendations in order to protect students and employees, Songy said in a release posted on the district’s Web site.

As of Wednesday, the system has nine students who have been absent from school because of flu-like symptoms, Songy said.

Based on the recommendation of state health officials, no schools will be closed or dismissed for confirmed or suspected flu cases at this time, the superintendent said.

Parents are encouraged to report a confirmed case of the flu to school administrators as soon as a student is diagnosed, he said.

Students are advised to stay home when they have symptom of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, unidentified rash, heavy nasal congestion or frequent cough, Songy said.

Children should stay home if they have been diagnosed with a contagious disease, he added.

“Let me assure you that the health and well-being of our students is our top priority,” Songy concluded.

For more information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov/swineflu or the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals site at dhh.state.la.us.