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Mohonasen school board talks flu

The Mohonasen School Board met Monday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. at Draper Middle School to discuss options for what is expected to be a nasty flu season and to move forward with the plans for sewer and field improvements.

Members of the board discussed the informative session on the H1N1 flu virus presented by Committee of Health Chairman Dr. David Pratt. All Schenectady County school districts will be host sites for vaccinations and at-risk groups, including school-age children and health-care workers, will be the first groups for vaccination. The school board talked about ways to halt the outbreak of the flu, including keeping students home when they show flu-like symptoms, moving teachers from room to room instead of students, allowing for longer passing periods for students to wash their hands, and even canceling social functions including dances and sporting events if the outbreak worsens. Schools in the district will also look closely at absentee levels for students, and doctors will presume H1N1 flu virus with students who exhibit flu-like symptoms to keep the virus from propagating.

We have extra hand sanitizers all over the schools and [have been] informing the students to wash their hands regularly, said Board of Education president Dominic Cafarelli. "We're trying to educate students and teachers to do the same. If you have flu-like symptoms, even though you feel better, you should stay home another day as a safety precaution."

Schenectady County has made a Flu Information page on the Public Health section of their Web site to inform the community of outbreaks and issues surrounding the possible outbreak of influenza in the county. According to a release from the health commissioner's office, schools are seeing larger numbers of absences coupled with increased visits to nurse's offices across the county while pharmacies are filling prescriptions for antiviral medication more often than usual in September and October. Novel H1N1 cases have been reported in the county and the Public Health Department has received a limited number of vaccines in nasal spray form for vaccination of priority groups, according to the department Web site.

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