For Immediate Release: May 29, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON — Two more cases of novel H1N1 flu were confirmed by the Health Department Laboratory on Thursday — one student at Rutland High School and one student at Mississquoi Valley Union Middle/High School. Both students are recovering well at home and were not hospitalized.
The Health Department is working with the schools, and parents are being notified. The total number of confirmed cases in Vermont is now five (in five different counties). The two students are the first non-adult cases in the state.
“We’re asking schools and parents to watch closely for signs of illness and to keep students at home if they are sick,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “If we see a number of absences or illnesses, one possible action we would consider is closing school, but it’s not warranted at this time. The two students who have the flu are doing the right thing by staying home for at least seven days and getting well.”
The new H1N1 flu spreads in the same way that regular seasonal flu viruses spread, mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the virus. In neighboring states such as New York and Massachusetts, the virus has spread among groups of students and some affected schools were closed to try to limit spread of the flu.
If you’re sick with flu-like symptoms (sore throat, bad cough, body aches or chills, fever of 100ºF or more, extreme fatigue, sometimes vomiting or diarrhea), stay home from work or school for seven days or until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away, whichever is longer.
Most people who are sick with flu will not need to see a health care provider and can be cared for at home. If the ill person has underlying medical conditions, or is having trouble breathing or feels the illness is getting worse, call a health care provider.
Vermonters are urged to continue to take simple precautions every day, and to teach children to do the same:
- Cover your mouth and nose every time you cough or sneeze.
- Use a tissue when possible and throw it in the trash after use.
- Wash hands often and well — wash for as long as it takes to sing the “ABC” song.
- Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Extensive information, tools and resources about H1N1 flu, healthy habits and pandemic preparedness are available at the Health Department’s website: www.healthvermont.gov or dial 2-1-1.