News


District reports no 'documented cases' of H1N1 in Pleasanton schools

District nurse says students with flu symptoms must stay home 24 hours after fever subsides

Although no documented cases of H1N1 (swine flu) have been reported in Pleasanton schools, an increasing number of students have been staying home ill with flu-like symptoms.

Given the hype H1N1 has received in recent months, the school district is issuing regular reports on school absences and the reasons why children are being reported ill.

District representatives also report that while it's possible that many of the sick children have the H1N1 flu, there are no documented cases of it among Pleasanton school students.

School district nurse Susan Han presented information to the school board last week saying the panic over the H1N1 virus is unmerited as it has mild to moderate symptoms that are treated similarly to the typical flu.

At this time, only those considered critical cases are being tested for the H1N1 strain at a cost of about $350, Han said. Physicians instead are said to be telling patients that their sickness may be the swine flu based on clinical observation.

At last week's board meeting, the school district sickness policy was reiterated, saying that students should only come back to school when they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducers.

Those interested in flu vaccines may want to sign up for the Pleasanton PTA Council vaccination clinic. Scheduled from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Fairlands Elementary School, 4151 W. Las Positas Blvd., shots are $25 and nasal spray is $30. Walk-ins will pay $2 more for shots. To make an appointment, call 866-782-3014 or visit www.pleasantonpta.org.

Comments

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Posted by MD
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 6:39 am

This is ridiculous. The schools are full of H1N1 - documented cases - maybe not to the schools, but at the doctor's offices. It is not a requirement to tell the schools. This is a serious illness - and not just sniffles. There have been several younger kids locally hospitalized. One almost died. This comment is uneducated and falsely reassuring. All schools should be on high alert for infectious disease precautions. The hospitals are - and no longer allow any visitors under the age of 16. The schools are just concerned about causing panic - but YES, parents should be concerned and take special care this winter.


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Posted by Douglas Kendall
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 20, 2009 at 6:53 am

Douglas Kendall is a registered user.

Note:
This is a developing story.
Important new information is also available at Town Square Forums > Prattle & Tattle


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 7:45 am

Julie is a registered user.

We do need to be careful not to panic. My middle schooler felt "warm" the other day & got sent to the office. There was no one there to take her temperature. I had to leave work, get her home and voila! No fever. Yes, slightly elevated temperature (she keeps a hoodie on no matter how warm it gets outside). I opted for being responsible and kept her home "just in case". She never developed any symptoms and her temp. went *down* as the day progressed. She missed a day of school & got freaked out by a teacher for no reason. Let's all be careful, but not hysterical.


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Posted by MainStreetDiva
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 20, 2009 at 8:46 am

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

Note to Emily West: Might want to clean up the typos in headline and first paragraph...

My family had swine flu, although it was not 'documented' as such. It came on very hard, 103 fever the first 2 days, dry hacking cough, extreme fatigue, body aches, chills.

Urgent care did not 'confirm' that we had swine flu, but if you read between the lines, many cases of flu are likely swine flu. We'd already had the regular flu shot.

I've read that this virus penetrates deeper into the lungs than the regular flu virus -- we are still coughing and wheezing 9 days later (although the fever lasted only 4 days).

If only the vaccine had been available!


Like this comment
Posted by wondering......
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 20, 2009 at 8:47 am

Just curious.......does the staff writer Emily West use spell check before she submits her article for publication?


Like this comment
Posted by TD
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:00 am

With all due respect to Emily West,I find this article infuriating.

My son has a CONFIRMED case of H1N1-- confirmed by a positive nasal swab done last Friday at Kaiser. I reported this to his school, PMS, on Monday, Oct 19. He has been out of school since Friday with the same symptoms described by MainStreetDiva, above. And the poster MD above, has it nailed (I assume MD is an MD)-- my son's pediatrician saw 35 cases last week alone, ALL suspected H1N1. Why suspected H1N1? Because it is too early in the season to be seasonal flu, and seasonal flu primarily affects older adults.

This seems to me a lame attempt by PUSD to appease the public and stave off full-blown panic. Ridiculous indeed. I wonder who at PUSD gave the Weekly this information. This is the most infuriating article I've seen in years of reading the Weekly.


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

My 6-year-old son came home from school with a 102.1 fever yesterday. Got him to the doctor and he tested positive for the flu. My pediatrician said it's a 50-50 chance it is Swine Flu, but the state is not recommending confirming tests because there is no funding available. He prescribed Tamiflu, which by the way, he would have prescribed even if it were a confirmed case of Swine Flu. My little guy has not had any fever since yesterday afternoon and has taken no fever reducing medications. Other than a stuffy nose, he is perfectly fine this morning. Just like my pediatrician said yesterday, he will be good as new in about a day or two. No cause for concern or hysteria. I guess and I am thankful that I must be one of the lucky ones in that his symptoms, like the article states, are very mild.


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Posted by MainStreetDiva
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

TD makes a good point: It is too early in the season for the regular flu virus. Therefore, most of the current cases of flu are probably cases of swine flu.

I take exception to the statement by school district nurse Susan Han -- our cases have not been "mild to moderate symptoms." So either we're the exceptions to the rule, or the school district is deliberately downplaying the issues so as not to cause public panic.


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Posted by reasonable parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:17 am

Given that there seems to be an outbreak, at least at PMS (we even got a phone mail from the principal that 60 kids were out at the end of last week with flue-like symptoms)it seems more urgent that we get some vaccines going. I've heard that Alameda county is hoarding the vaccine until they have enough to do mass vaccination clinics at the schools, but I would think any vaccine they can get out into the population would slow the spread. Does anyone know what is going on with that? Does anyone actually have the vaccine available around here?


Like this comment
Posted by Sick
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:44 am

Yes, the flu is all around and most are not confirmed cases of Swine flu - they still suspect that any cases of flu are H1N1. To mom, you are lucky your 6 year old is fine, but if he's still sniffling he is still contagious, because even though he has no fever the virus is still shedding. (that's what I was told by Kaiser -don't know for how long.

Well, I was subbing for a teacher who was out with the flu, and I did everything right -washed my hands a lot, and didn't touch my eyes - guess what? Now I have the flu 102 temp on Sunday, and now its down to 100.1 without fever reducing medicine. Kaiser prescribed Tamiflu. I also suffer from asthma, and I have mucus in my chest, and have blown out so much from my nose. I guess the schools are not taking precautions by disinfecting the desks, and school and staff bathrooms. I probably will have a tough time shaking this off quickly. There were a few kids who had runny noses, and they probably also were contagious. I heard from Kaiser that you are contagious 24 hours before you exhibit the symptoms.


Like this comment
Posted by LeaderK
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:45 am

My daughter had flu symptoms late last month. I called Kaiser and they perscribed Tamiflu over the phone, saying there was no reason to bring her in because they are not testing anyway to determine what type of flu. I called again the next day because all symptoms were gone except the vomiting. A different doctor (than the one the day before) called me back and said get her off the Tamiflu right away. He said she didn't have all the symptoms for H1N1 and improperly percribed Tamiflu can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. I took her off and she was totally fine. So be careful with this med, and something lesser than H1N1 must be going around because my daughter's was really only a 24 hour bug...but I also believe the schools aren't giving us the whole picture. They're afraid of panicking parents, but we have a right to make informed decisions and to be trusted to handle the truth responsibly.


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Posted by TD
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:47 am

To "reasonable parent": the H1N1 vaccine is being given only to children who have an underlying medical condition (eg, asthma) that puts them at higher risk, and also only to adults who have a child at home under the age of 6 months. Everyone else, including health care providers, are out of luck. There's no more H1N1 vaccine available till Nov anyway.

To "mom": Tamiflu is very effective against H1N1, which is why your son's Dr prescribed it-- he figured your son has H1N1. If your son took the Tamiflu, he will have a much easier course of flu symptoms. You're lucky to have gotten Tamiflu at all, as my understanding is that not many Drs are prescribing it-- there's a fear of Tamiflu-resistant flu strain(s) developing from widespread use of Tamiflu.

If there are any medical professionals reading this, please correct me if I am wrong.


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Posted by Emily West
Pleasanton Weekly staff reporter
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

Emily West is a registered user.

Sorry the use of "documented" caused some confusion. It was intended to describe those who have been officially blood tested, with results sent to the county. At Tuesday night's school board, they said the same thing: that while no students have had the blood test with official results sent to the county saying they have it, physicians are diagnosing it without the test. Therefore, the students likely have H1N1, but not confirmed by the blood test.


Like this comment
Posted by TD
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:52 am

to "leaderK": Tamiflu can cause nausea and vomiting even when correctly prescribed. It's best taken with food, not on an empty stomach. I know this, because I myself am taking it.


Like this comment
Posted by TD
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:57 am

To Emily West: a blood test isn't needed for confirmed diagnosis. The lab simply takes the nasal swab and runs a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. This test involves isolating the viral RNA and then making millions of copies of it so that it can be detected by a special instrument. In this way, the specific virus is identified.

PCR is commonly done for all sorts of things, most importantly testing the nation's blood supply for HIV, HCV, HBV, etc. before the blood is given to someone who needs it.


Like this comment
Posted by lyndalu
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

As of today, October 20th, Kaiser is making available the H1N1 vaccine to all children under age 24 and adults who have babies in the house under 6 months of age.


Like this comment
Posted by sm
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm

This is an infuriating article! It is articles like this that will increase the spread of this flu and cause it to become more virulent. It is the aloof attitudes of some parents that send their kids to school with mild symptoms that later develop into severe.One can not undo the damage of exposing to others. There are pregnant women, children, elderly, and immune compromised out there that could pose life threatening results if exposed. Let's all be responsible and keep our kids home it is suspected that they're ill. My family fortunately has been untouched, however I have close friends that have and it was bad! Doctors ARE NOT TESTING UNLESS THE PATIENT IS HOSPITALIZED DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING. Educate yourselves Pleasanton! This is why there are "NO CONFIRMED" cases. Please...
Shame on PUSD for minimizing the severity of this flu. Furthermore, if you or your child has a wet cough and is fever free you are still contagious.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

You Pleasanton people are so rude and mean. You rip on anybody that writes an article for the Pleasanton Weekly. Lighten up! You think you are all so perfect. This forum is for sharing info, not for criticizing.


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

leaderK,

Tamiflu should not have been prescribed in the first place. It should be reserved for only the most severe cases, or when another condition poses a risk.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

My co-worker's teenage daughter had swine flu last year and just like Main Street Diva reported--103 degree fever, but her child's fever lasted several days.


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Emily West,
For a phone number to make an appointment for the vaccination clinic you give a number that is not valid. Will you please correct this? Thank you.


Like this comment
Posted by Liam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm

The flu vaccines at Fairlands are for 'seasonal influenza' not swine flu. Emily West, you should make this clear, since your article starts out talking about swine flu.


Like this comment
Posted by Emily West
Pleasanton Weekly staff reporter
on Oct 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Emily West is a registered user.

Sorry, the phone number is (866) 782-3014.


Like this comment
Posted by MD
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 5:40 am

Schools are in a tough position - they rely on attendance for funding. They wants kids to come, unless they are very sick. So - of course, they will down play it.

More kids have died from influenza-related illness already during this year's flu season than all of last year. Influenza is a bad bug to start with - and H1N1 is even more aggressive. There is little you can do to avoid it. Some kids will have minimal symptoms - while others will end up in the hospital. The best we can do is be careful with our precautions, smart about keeping kids home when sick (this includes teachers making appropriate accomodations and not scaring kids into not missing school), and treating symptoms early. I am truly surprised at the uneducated approach of PUSD. They should be educating families about the illness - not burying tehir head in the sand for fear of losing funding for school absences. We have great resources of doctors and infectious control experts in the area. All they need to do is ask.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:21 pm

There are notices and signs all over school campuses reminding students to cover their cough, wash their hands etc. I know for a fact that there have been agencies that come to the schools to educate elementary students on proper hand washing techniques. There have been constant reminders by the district via email. PUSD as well as other school districts are not in the medical field and rely on updates from the County Health Office as to the confirmed cases of H1N1. In order for there to be a confirmed case of H1N1 there needs to be a blood test done.

Now we are asking teachers and extremely cutback maintenance staff to disinfect desks and restrooms on a daily basis???? I know that my kid's teachers have asked for parents to donate disinfectant wipes to help out. We need to be part of the solution instead of asking someone else to shoulder the burden. Educate your kids


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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