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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Boyle County Health Department
State: KY
Date Added: 01/26/2010
Themes: Community Mitigation
Issue Summary: Medical care at schools
Description of Issue(s):

A local elementary school began having a high rate of absences in Aug. 2009, just 2 weeks after opening. The school district stayed in constant contact with our health department on most current recommendations, when to send kids home and if they should close schools.  The elementary was the first in the state to close due to flu-like illness.

Actions taken to address the issue(s): With only one school nurse for the district, our ARNP and an MRC member assisted the nurse to assess children's symptoms to determine when they should go home and what symptoms were present. They also called the families of the kids who did not come in to determine why and what symptoms they had, if they'd been to a doctor and if they'd been tested for H1N1.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: The elementary school was closed for 4 days because of the high rate of staff and student illness. At one point 1/4 of the student body was absent or was sent home because of illness. One child from that school that tested positive for H1N1 spent overnight in the hospital. When students returned, attendance was slightly lower than usual, but the schools did not have to close due to illness Sept 2009 - present.

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