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Swine Flu Alert from Kris Harrison, Superintendent of Mendham Township Schools

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Photo Courtesy of A Grateful Heart

Oh, for Pete’s sake… maybe I’m one of those people who buries my head in the sand, but I truly believed that, despite the media hype, I didn’t really have to worry about swine flu.  Now I have a letter from our school district superintendent that tells me there have been at least 5 cases in New Jersey, and if someone in our school district catches it, they will have to close the schools for a minimum of seven (7) days.  Kids, please don’t kiss pigs!

May 1, 2009

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am writing to update you on the H1N1 Swine Influenza situation with respect to our schools and to share the attached letter from the Morris County Office of Health Management and related resources.

We suggest that you continue to send your children to school, as long as they are not sick and/or experiencing flu-like symptoms. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or stuffy nose. Additional symptoms that may be experienced with Swine Flu include muscle pain, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea. If your child is experiencing any flu-like symptoms, it is important that you contact your physician immediately.

In the evenings our custodians are taking special precautions to keep our classrooms as germ free as possible. All telephones, door knobs, water fountains, desks (on a rotating basis), light switches, backs of chairs, and other commonly touched areas are being cleaned and disinfected nightly. Our buses are also being thoroughly cleaned twice each day. We are encouraging all students and staff to wash their hands as often as possible, especially after a cough or a sneeze.
It is also important to teach your children how to reduce the risk of getting the flu and how to protect others from infection. Some general tips for decreasing the spread of germs include:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (if a tissue is not available, the crook of the arm-not in your hand).
  • Carefully dispose of the tissues in a wastebasket, and then wash your hands.
  • Teach your children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible. If water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used. Products such as hand gels, rubs and hand wipes all work well, providing they contain at least 60% alcohol. Once used, the hand wipes need to be disposed of properly.
  • Do not share drinking cups or food.

While the current circumstances do not warrant school closure, information about the spread of Swine Flu changes by the minute and is being monitored by the Morris County Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Education, and our District Office. If a confirmed case of Swine Flu is reported in a District school, we may be required to close school for a minimum of seven days. Additionally, if students are displaying flu-like symptoms they will be required to be removed from school until medical clearance is provided. We will communicate with you immediately in the event of a school closure via our automated phone system and website postings. As a proactive measure, you are encouraged to consider making plans for childcare should the schools be closed.

If you would like to learn more about the H1N1 Swine Flu, we recommend you check the following:
Center for Disease Control
NJDHSS Hotline: (866) 321-9571

Kristopher Harrison

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  • Henson Ray
    11:33 am on May 5th, 2009 1

    That sucks. Hope no one gets it in your area. BTW, the photo is so inappropriate right now, I loved it.

  • A Grateful Heart
    2:27 pm on May 6th, 2009 2

    oh… please don’t give me a credit for that:)… my husband sent me that image in an email. I thought it’s cute although it can’t really be funny at this moment, right? Anyway, I hope we’ll get through this problem. My husband’s great great grandfather, 2 uncles had died of it during the breakthrough in 1920’s. They’re one of the 20 million who were killed during that time:( They lived in Kansas where it all began then..


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