School officials monitor LAMS flu situation

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By Carol A. Clark

School administrators are keeping a watchful eye on the increasing number of students being sent home from Los Alamos Middle School  during the last three days due to illness.

“The school nurse sent three students home with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday, six more children Thursday and nine students today,” said Los Alamos Public Schools Business Manager John Wolfe during a telephone interview late Friday. “We also had 30 students stay home from school today and we’re in the process of determining the nature of their illnesses.” 

Two students from LAMS have tested positive for Influenza A and many more still need to be tested, Wolfe said, adding that it’s not yet known if any of the students have the H1N1 strain. 

The Monitor placed calls to the Children’s Clinic, local public health office and state epidemiologist as soon as information about the ill students became available late Friday. 

When seeking information into how many students they’ve encountered with flu-like symptoms and if any have the H1N1 virus, the Children’s Clinic cited privacy policies and refused to disclose whether they’ve even treated a student for the flu. 

The public health office stated that the state epidemiologist’s office is the agency that is collecting flu case information. 

A call placed to the state epidemiologist’s office was not immediately returned. 

“We have reported our flu situation to the Public Education Department so they are aware,” Wolfe said. 

The superintendent’s office intends to monitor this situation throughout the weekend; providing updates as available, Wolfe said. 

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or 505-662-4185 ext. 25. Read her newsblog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.