Schools' flu flare up diminishing

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By Carol A. Clark

All signs suggest that the first wave of the influenza eruption hitting Los Alamos Public Schools in August is winding down.

Some 38 students stayed home from Los Alamos Middle School Monday and just 22 today – a marked drop from last week’s absentee high of 149.

“It’s definitely diminishing,” LAPS Business Manager John Wolfe said this morning. “From what I’ve seen the elementary schools are dropping as well.”

Los Alamos High School seems to have been affected least by the local flu outbreak.

“The high schools’ numbers are about the same as the elementary schools and it’s a much larger school,” Wolfe said.

New Mexico Department of Health spokesperson Chris Minnick emphasized in an interview this morning that the state’s epidemiology lab is only testing hospitalizations and clusters.

The lab confirmed last week two H1N1 cases at LAMS.

“We did consider Los Alamos a cluster,” Minnick said. “There’s not another flu going around right now so we can assume anyone with the flu has H1N1.”

DOH confirmed Monday the H1N1 influenza death of a 52-year-old Bernalillo County woman.

“She had a pulmonary condition that put her at risk for developing complications,” Minnick said.

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