Information On Swine Flu at Campbell School

This just in from Emergency Management Coordinator James Graziano via Councilman Richard Weber (thanks, Richard!):
There are two confirmed cases of swine flu at Campbell School. Considering there is only one school week left, it is unlikely that school operations will be affected by the flu this school year. I have been in touch with the Superintendent of Schools. The Board of Education is following established protocols. Students with flu symptoms are to remain out of school for at least 7 days following the onset of symptoms. The guidance from the CDC and the NJDHSS on school closing is as follows:
School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school's ability to function.
Please advise members of your various agencies to continue to observe common sense flu prevention measures: 
 1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, not into your bare hands when you cough or sneeze.
2) Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
3) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
4) Avoid close contact with sick people.
5) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
6) If you get influenza-like illness symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.


Someone told me that Campbell and Edgar will not admit a child back until they have been fever-free for 48 hours (used to be 24). Is this true?

I've always told the nurse what I know. And, I err on the conservative side. In fact, my kids have missed things, and people have told me that I should have let them go. But, how fair is that to others? Sick kids belong home -- for their own comfort and for the consideration of others.

Will you tell the school next time your child has strep or follow your doctor's advice? It would have been nice to know a child was being ruled out for swine flu while it was happening, we could have taken precautions even if he was negative. Thank goodness the children are okay.

I apologize for what my strep comment started here. My only point was that my son started a fever on a Monday evening. I kept him home on Tuesday and took him to the pediatrician. They did a strep culture but said that it was probably viral. He had a low-grade fever on Wednesday morning, and I kept him home on Wednesday. The pediatrician called at 10 am Wednesday to say that it was, in fact, strep. When I called Campbell, I told them that he had strep. I began the antibiotics on Wednesday morning around 11 am. He never ran a fever after noon on Wednesday. I kept him home on Thursday (because he did have a fever on Wednesday morning and he had just started the antibiotics on Wednesday.) By lunchtime on Thursday, he was totally fine. But, I insisted that he rest and not go ride bikes or anything else outside. Our rule is that if you don't go go school, you don't do other things. By Friday morning -- he had been on antibiotics for 45 hours, and fever-free for 44 hours. But, he wasn't able to be back at Campbell until after 11 am Friday -- the 48 hour mark. It seemed silly that he missed 4 whole days of school -- and I really think that he should have been in school on Friday.
I totally agree with the poster who said that you should think about your sick child's comfort and be considerate of other children. BUT, I really think that missing 4 days for strep -- when I took him to the pediatrician within 12 hours of on-set of fever is a little extreme.
And really -- how many families can really have mom or dad take off 4 days for strep?

No, rules are meant to be followed by schools, too. Parents should remember that they are part of a larger community and, unfortunately, their child's illness affects other people's kids AND the rest of their families, which include babies, the infirm and the elderly. Have a little consideration and make sure you call the school when your child has an infectious, contagious disease, for God's sake!

It seems as though if it takes 2 days to confirm cases of swine flu in a hospital setting, and a child is supposed to stay home for 7 days after the start of symptoms, the school DID NOT notify us in a timely manner. The child with swine flu was returning to school by the time the notice was communicated. We should have been notified before the child returned to school. Our children have been put at risk of being exposed and can still develop this from human to human contact if the incubation period is seven days. School will be closed, but we can still expect illness...

My doctor on main street said my daughter could return to school after she had 24 hours without a fever. She was already antibiotics. I didn't even think to let the school know about it. Strep is spread before the symptoms occurs, after the child is properly treated it is safe to send them to school. The problem is that there are too many people making the rules in the schools, listen to your MD.

Strep is never "run of the mill." The 48 hours is to be sure that the illness will not be spread to others. It is extremely careless and downright selfish of anyone to send their child to school sick and even more offensive if the parent knows that the child has strep. Besides which, have you no compassion for how the child feels?

That's why people do not tell when there child has strep, they just say the child is sick.

The reason the child was back by the time there is notification is that it takes several days to run the swine flu test and they are only done in a hospital. So if the test wasn't done until day 2 or 3 of the illness, the results come back after the person is well.

I one time needed a doctor's note for my child to come back to Campbell after being out with strep throat. When I called him in sick (with Strep) -- they told me that he couldn't come back until the 3rd day (i.e. at least 48 hours on antibiotics -- which I didn't start until 10 am -- so he missed that day, plus the next 2 days!) AND I needed to make another trip back to the pediatrician because I was told that they could not re-admit him to school without a doctor's note! Seriously! I wondered how many parents who have to take a day off from work when kids are sick would seriously be able to do this? 3 days for a run of the mill strep?

They all eat in the same place, use the same bathrooms, the same gym, library, music room, art room. 3rd and 4th grade UL use the same rooms for math and reading. There's plenty of opportunity for contact among the different grades.

And really, you're complaining about this not being the brainy borough and yet you're using "enuf"?

The thing is that we were NOT notified in a timely manner. The child in 4th grade who was affected had already returned to school the day we parents received the automated phone call. We should have been notified as soon as the school was notified that the child had this swine flu.
I also think that parents of the grades affected should have been told it was someone in their child's grade, not that they should say any names, by no means do I think the child's private matters should be made public, but the parents in the immediate classes and grades should have been told so.
Instead they made a generic message that put the whole school in a panic.
This could have easily been avoided with proper notification.
"Please be aware that a child in your child's class or grade has been confirmed to have the H1N1 virus. Please watch your child for any symptoms and take proper action if need be."
Something like that should have been given to parents of the affected classes.
The regular message is fine for the rest of the school, as 1st graders and 4th graders dont really have direct contact.
I personally think it was handled all wrong.
Even if a child is otherwise healthy, they may indeed have a family member who may have a compromised immune system, and therefor the child should not be exposed.
"The Brainy Borough"???????

You know the main problem here is parents who send sick children to school either because they dont want to deal with a sick whiny child or because they dont want to take the day off of work.
If your child is sick KEEP THEM HOME!!! Not enuf parents do this.

Word of mouth in Metuchen works fast. Many people already knew about the confirmed case earlier this week.

I have kids, and in Campbell. Blind panic is very amusing to me.

Love a good knee jerk reaction, when I saw the post on here last night, I knew we were in for some wacky responses

I'm pretty sure that Campbell parents would know. Yes, the information was on Metuchen Matters last night after 9 pm. But, I did get a phone call today. And I did get a letter via backpack today. I agreee that it hit the blog about 12 hours before Campbell let me know. BUT Campbell did let me know.
And anyway, its just informational. If Campbell was closing or sending kids home and I didn't hear it from Campbell asap - THEN I'd be mad. But, if some kids are sick with the flu, chicken pox, or any other "reportable" illness - then I'd expect to hear about it in a timely manner. And I think that 12 hours is pretty timely, in the circumstance.

uh maybe because they are elected representatives for the community? our advocates? they are our voice for concerns such as this? the employees of the school district take board member calls? I know they are not hall monitors....

anyway - I am glad the subject at hand was addressed by Mrs. Sinatra - but I still wonder what Campbell parents would know ... if Metuchen Matters and Mr. Weber had not been so forthcoming with the information

The best info on swine flu is that it is no worse than the regular flu. Of course, the regular flu pretty much blows and can kill you if you have other problems.

And why would the school board be the people to ask about this? They are not in the schools with day to day knowledge on the happenings in the hallway.

Not if you have children, it's not.

Aww, but blind panic is more fun!

Thanks, Jen, that's exactly the information we need everyone to adhere to at this time. Intelligent response is the best medicine.

As an RN in a local hospital, we see dozens of people a night with flu-like symptoms. We run a TON of flu tests with a handfull of them testing positive for the TYPICAL, not SWINE flu variation. We tell all of the patients that handwashing is crucial to preventing the spread of flu as is covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing. I think people don't realize that for the average healthy person, the risks of complications stemming from the swine or regular flu are quite low! Not for anything, but thousands die from the regular flu each winter, we just don't hear about it on the news. I am by no means making light of the situation. We just need to stay calm and use common sense.

seems like they were taking care of it all along.

Instead of asking Jana to confirm this information why don't you call the school board or the superintendent and have them do something? Where are they? having a day off? conference? we need to hear from our more than capable school board. They don't want the community to try to do their jobs but yet they aren't informing us either. Makes you feel like they will really be capable of finding a HS Principal - doesn't it?

I just talked to my pediatrician and he said there is no cause to take drastic measures at this point. He said the kids/people dramatically affected by H1N1 are people whose health is otherwise compromised. Such is the case with the 15 year old boy who died today of H1N1, in Somerset county. He had a known heart condition. He is the second known death in NJ. With that said, we do deserve to know what is going on - maybe we do have a child or another loved one in our family who is more susceptible to a virus like this. And maybe we do need to be extra careful.

Please read the updated article with information from the Superintendent of Schools.


Did you confirm with the state Department of Health and Senior Services?

There is no panic, get a hold of yourself, the alert is to use common sense flu prevention measures. Swine flu is all over the tri-state area, it only makes sense that it would come here. If anyone was admitted with swine flu, they have the right to privacy. Most people who have contacted the disease have recovered just fine. Use common sense and do not panic.

How are these cases confirmed? From where was the information obtained?
My pediatrician said that hospitals will test for the regular flu (influenza A) on an out-pateint basis, but the Swine Flu will only be tested on admitted patients. Pediatricians cannot test for Swine Flu in the office.
Any ideas?
Are we positive that it really is Swine Flu? Maybe it's the Influenza A and causing un-due panic?

We didn't post this to cast aspersions on the Board or administrators--the information came to us from respected sources and so it was posted as we got it. Sources tell us that it is first and fourth grade affected at this time. Wth so little class time left in the year, the district is deciding the best course of action. As a parent, however, alerting your pediatrician to this outbreak and asking for advice on how to proceed is always a safe measure. I just made my call.

Well, if they can text people because field day was cancelled (twice, for what turned out to be beautiful days) they could send out a message.

its a conspiracy


Why hasn't the school board come out and make a statement? we have the right to know -

thank you to MM and Councilman Weber for caring enough to alert us of this situation.

Anyone know what grades are currently affected?

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  • Anonymous: Someone told me that Campbell and Edgar will not admit read more
  • Anonymous: I've always told the nurse what I know. And, I read more
  • Anonymous: Will you tell the school next time your child has read more
  • Anonymous: I apologize for what my strep comment started here. My read more
  • Anonymous: No, rules are meant to be followed by schools, too. read more
  • Linda Scolaro: It seems as though if it takes 2 days to read more
  • Anonymous: My doctor on main street said my daughter could return read more
  • Anonymous: Strep is never "run of the mill." The 48 hours read more
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