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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Sickness forcing schools to close

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coleyounger666 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 24 2009 at 10:01pm
http://www.dailymail.com/News/statenews/200910221218

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Students in Gilmer County got an unexpected day off Thursday, after the county's superintendent announced a countywide closure of schools.

Superintendent John Bennett said he instituted the shutdown after Gilmer County High reported a 57-percent absence rate on Wednesday. The school has about 430 students.

"I thought it was prudent to act," he said.

The Gilmer County schools aren't the first in the state to close because of student absences. Ashton Elementary in Mason County shut down earlier this month after absences hit 30 percent.

Bennett said this is the first time he's seen a closure of this kind in his 32 years with the school system.

"We had 57 percent of our kids out yesterday, and we've never had that many out in one day over any kind of sickness," he said.

Bennett and Gilmer County High Principal Athanasia Butcher said not all of those students absent had swine flu. Some were sick with other illnesses.

Butcher said some students had a stomach virus, some had respiratory infections and at least one student was diagnosed with the seasonal flu.

Bennett said the Gilmer County Health Department has been working closely with the school system, calling about 60 percent of the high school's parents whose children stayed home. He said only a quarter of those absences were for flu-like symptoms.

"I don't want everybody to think we did it because of swine flu," Bennett said.

Although no elementary schools in the county reported an absentee rate over 19 percent, Bennett said he thought it was best to keep the younger children out of school as well.

"My thoughts were, well, they've probably got brothers and sisters in the high school," he said.

Today is an Instructional Support and Enhancement day for the county, so students will not return until Monday. Butcher said teachers have used the student-free time to give to their school an extra wipe down.

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coleyounger666 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coleyounger666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2009 at 10:04pm
http://www.gilmercountyschools.org/

Gilmer County is located in central West Virginia approximately 300 miles west of Washington D.C.
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Mahshadin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mahshadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2009 at 6:45am
Prudent would have been 20-30 percent
 
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."   G Orwell
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Glow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2009 at 3:42pm
Close all the schools nationwide for God sakes.  I was on a news website that had a place to post messages and there was an attorney that he was gathering names of parents with children that have died and other parents whose kids are in the hospitial very ill to start a class action lawsuit against the gov., school systems for not closing down the schools.  This is getting uglier by the day people.
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