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Rowan school system takes precautions, provides update on flu

The high number of absences at Bostian Elementary and Erwin Middle schools last week has subsided, according to Rowan-Salisbury School System officials.
Erwin Principal Ray Whitaker said on one day last week, 180 of the school’s 950 students were either absent or sent home sick. However, none of the students were confirmed as having the swine flu, also known as the H1N1 flu, he said.
“It wasn’t all flu-like symptoms,” Whitaker said. “We’ve had allergies. We’ve had colds …”
Whitaker said the school had sent literature about the swine flu home with students and was taking extreme precautions ó including wiping down all the bus seats, desks, door knobs, doors, even floors, with disinfectant ó to prevent the spread of the flu at the school.
The number of absences have decreased dramatically this week. On Tuesday, he said there were only 60. “That’s not bad at all.”
Rita Foil, public information officer for the system, said Bostian Elementary reported close to 25 percent of its third graders were out with flu-like symptoms. “Again, none of these have been confirmed as cases of H1N1,” she said.
Foil said the school’s absences are back to a normal rate this week.
The Kannapolis City Schools are averaging about 25 students a day either staying home or going home with flu-like symptoms, according to Ellen Boyd, community relations director for the system. “That’s not too bad out of 5,000 students, give or take,” Boyd said.
The system has sent out Connect-Ed telephone messages informing parents of symptoms of the swine flu and precautions they should take, she said. The Kannapolis City Schools also has prevention measures posted on its Web site.
Read more about the swine flu in the schools in Thursday’s Post.

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