THIS JUST IN: Superintendent's Update on Swine Flu Case


Superintendent Terri Sinatra just called and gave us this up-to-the-minute information on the swine flu issue in Metuchen:

At present, only one case of swine flu was confirmed and this student has actually received the okay from the family's pediatrician to return to school. There is another unconfirmed case in which the child has been kept home from school and will probably not return, as the law requires a 7-day absence from school and there are not even that many days officially left in the school schedule. Superintendent Sinatra called us from Campbell herself to tell us that she is sending a notice with this information through backpacks this afternoon and a telephone alert is being administered immediately.

On a personal note, Mrs. Sinatra called just as I was hanging up with my own personal pediatrician and they both told me the same medical protocol for this ailment: once a child exhibits actual symptoms, the child can be treated with the same over-the-counter analgesics and dietary changes that would accompany any other flu diagnosis(children with underlying health issues may need further treatment). My pediatrician added that the exposure period is three days so if your child has been exposed and is not sick at this time, there is a good chance that they will not succumb to the flu.


I am the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Borough of Metuchen. The information that was published in Metuchen Matters yesterday concerning the swine flu was a copy of an email I sent to certain key people in borough government. The purpose of the email was to allow first responders and borough officials to be aware of the local flu situation. The swine flu is not presently an emergency, but situational awareness is important for planning and preparation. I did not intend the email to be disseminated and the “OEM Alert” headline that accompanied the post was inaccurate and, if it created undue concern, unfortunate. Even more unfortunate was the criticism by some of the Board of Education. The Board of Education and Mrs. Sinatra, the Superintendent, have always been proactive and cooperative in matters dealing with the safety and security of the students and the schools and this is no exception. There is an excellent rapport between the Board, the Superintendent and the emergency services in Metuchen. In this case, as she always has, Mrs. Sinatra exercised her discretion and good judgment to protect the health and safety of the children. The manner and timing of the announcement today regarding flu in the Metuchen schools was well handled and appropriate under the circumstances. Such announcements are entirely within the province of the Superintendent and the Board and not the Office of Emergency Management.

I just got a call from the school - thank you for coming forth with the confirmation - much appreciated.

Thanks Jana,Your updates are really helpful.

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