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School district seeing dozens of H1N1 cases

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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It’s here but Auburn-area schools aren’t being hit as hard by swine flu as a large high school in neighboring Nevada County. Nevada Union High School reported 300 students out sick this week compared with the normal 75 absences for this time of year. The school, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, attributed most of that total to swine flu. Dave Horsey, Placer Union High School District superintendent, said Friday that during the first two weeks of the school year, Auburn’s Placer High School had 47 students house-bound because of flu symptoms. This past week, the Placer High school nurse’s report showed 36 students sent home with flu-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control anticipates 90 percent of flu cases at this time of year can be attributed to the H1N1 virus, Horsey said. Del Oro High School in Loomis had seven absences related to the flu in the first two weeks of school and another 10 this past week. It has an enrollment of about 1,700 students compared with 1,300 at Placer High. Foresthill reported eight cases of flu-like symptoms in the first two weeks of school and Chana High School in North Auburn had 11. Horsey said that when flu strikes, school workers are being advised to isolate students and wear protective masks until they can be taken home. Teachers and parents both have fact sheets on prevention, he said. Students are being told to stay away from school until 24 hours after their fever has broken. “We’re doing everything we can to take it very seriously,” Horsey said. Auburn Union Elementary School District, with 2,100 students and 220 staff members, hasn’t been hit hard, Superintendent Michele Schuetz said. “So far we’re OK,” Schuetz said. The superintendent of the Auburn district said parents are being instructed to keep all children home and put them on travel study if one of their offspring comes down with swine-flu-like symptoms.