Schools to handle swine flu cases differently this year

Photo by xpistwv via

Photo by xpistwv via

Health officials are advising a shorter stay at home for students who may have the H1N1 or swine flu virus this school year, the Randall School Board learned Wednesday night.

Randall School nurse Mary Kay Kempken gave a presentation to the board based in large part on how the county Health Department wants to handle cases of H1N1 this year.

Last year schools were advised to keep students with suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 home for five to seven days. The new guideline is for students to return to school after 24 fever free hours, Kempken explained. Those hours are to come without the use of medication such as ibuprofen to hold down a fever. Testing to confirm H1N1 takes two to three days.

The county has had 164 cases of H1N1, Kempken said.

“There’s been nothing major as far as outbreaks, but they keep trickling in,” she said.

Also under the new guidelines, schools would need to thave 25 percent of students or too many staff members to hold classes sick with the virus before shutting down, Kempken said.

“They’re really staying away from closing schools now,” Kempken said.

H1N1 is unique from other flus in that it attacks healthy children of school age more so than any other group, Kempken said. For example, senior citizens are typically considered the highest risk group for seasonal flu outbreaks.

The county is expecting to receive H1N1 flu vacinations in mid-October, though an exact plan for how to administer vaccinations has not been devised, Kempken said.

In the meantime, Randall School will be teaching preventative techniques to students, such as proper handwashing and how to sneeze, Kempken said.

“We’re really stressing prevention now,” Kempken said.

As the county Health Department coordinates swine flu reaction, other Western Kenosha County School districts are likely to follow similar guidelines.

Here’s the county’s H1N1 resources webpage.


Comments are closed.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives