Student absences expected to spread across district

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By Carol A. Clark

Student absences at Los Alamos Middle School have multiplied daily since Wednesday and the trend is expected to spread throughout the district.

“We had just a handful of kids with flu symptoms Wednesday, double Thursday, triple on Friday and today just over 100 kids are out sick from what we know so far,” said Dr. Shelley Schoonover of the Los Alamos Children’s Clinic during an interview Monday evening. “It’s been primarily from the middle school and if it’s influenza then it’s just a matter of days when siblings will begin showing up with it.”

The Children’s Clinic has been conducting what she calls a quick test to characterize influenza A, she said, adding that it’s only 50 percent accurate at best. On Friday the clinic sent in confirming samples to the state testing laboratory on three LAMS students to determine what type of flu they have contracted, she said.

Communications Director Deborah Busemeyer from the New Mexico Epidemiology Office said Monday morning her office is conducting H1N1 testing to determine if the virus is at the middle school. Busemeyer expects results to be available by the end of this week.

Los Alamos Public School Business Manager John Wolfe described the situation during an interview this morning. 

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