Updated: Sun, May 3, 2009, 6:25 pm
Uploaded: Sat, May 2, 2009, 10:19 am
SRVUSD confirms first case of swine flu
San Ramon Elementary school to remain closed this week
Officials with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have confirmed their first case of probable swine flu, resulting in the closure of a San Ramon elementary school. District spokesman Terry Koehne said that Coyote Creek Elementary School will remain closed this coming week, after a student was diagnosed with the H1N1 swine flu virus. District officials informed parents of the closure Friday evening via e-mail.
Koehne said that they were informed by the Contra Costa County Health Department at 7:30 p.m. Friday night of the case at Coyote Creek. Both the school and the attached day care facility will be closed throughout the week. Koehne said the earliest the school will reopen is May 11, and the closure could be extended at the direction of county health officials.
County Health officials updated their information at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, to say that Contra Costa County had eight probable cases of swine flu and five schools closed, including:
Brentwood Elementary School, Brentwood
Coyote Creek Elementary School, San Ramon
Highlands Elementary School, Pittsburg
Lone Tree Elementary, Antioch
Shore Acres Elementary School, Bay Point
Brentwood Elementary was closed after a student tested probable for H1N1 on Saturday. Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon, Lone Tree Elementary in Antioch and Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point also will closed starting Monday after a student at each of these schools tested probable for swine flu on Friday. Coyote Creek had an additional case test probable on Saturday.
"All these children are recovering at home," reported County Officials. "These schools could be closed for at least one week and as long as two weeks. Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg was the first school closed on April 29 after three students tested probable for swine flu.
"Contra Costa Public Health continues to investigate reports of cases of flu-like symptoms and will provide information on probable swine flu cases as they are identified. This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change."
Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. For more information, visit www.ccchealth.org or follow it online through Twitter, by signing up at http://twitter.com/CoCoHealth.
The Health Emergency Information Line is 1 (888) 959-9911.
Posted by ConcernedMom,
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2009 at 12:31 am
Tina, actually, the WHO and the CDC have both publicly stated that they may not be listing accurately the number of "confirmed" cases now that several states including California have the ability to test and confirm independently. And, as confirmed numbers on the local level rise, it would become tedious for them to spend their time trying to continue the tally when it's clear it is spreading and they have more important things to do than to report each additional "confirmed" case. Plus, the term "confirmed" has a very specific meaning, that the DNA match has been done on the virus strain, which takes several days from having the actual test done.
That's why they're taking actions off of the term "probable," which is a more instant result (i.e. the initial test shows it's a type A variety, from which H1N1 comes). They can then state with a high degree of probability that those cases will be confirmed but that they don't want to wait those few days during such a critical time before taking some action.
But hey, if someone is more comfortable splitting hairs and relying on the "confirmed" count and downplaying the risk and potentially exposing themselves and their family to this seemingly innocuous Swine flu because they really don't think it's all that bad, then hey, go for it. But if my local news says there's a "probable" case, and the county health people think it's advisable to stay away, that's what I'm personally going to choose to do. Great thing about personal choice, that is.
The logic that it's so inconsequential compared to other things or other flus, it's really faulty reasoning. Right now, it's easy to say it's benign, just a "flu." But it's not 100% a human flu. Yes, the media's having fun at our expense, but the WHO and CDC are certainly not overblowing their concern. Our bodies aren't intended to get this virus. And, evidence from Mexico shows it's attacking people in their prime, healthy 20-40 year olds, not necessarily just small children and older folks (and that's what the 1918 flu did, too). It seems to actually cause the most complications in healthy adults, where their immune system does such a good job of fighting it off that the body puts out a hyper-response and fills the lungs with fluid. That's pretty darned scary.
So far it is still isolated, but it has the ability to affect large numbers of people. So what if we don't all die from it. Can you imagine if 50% of the population of San Ramon or Danville, or Walnut Creek, coming down with a sudden upper respiratory infection akin to pneumonia. Imagine how that would tax our health care system, our public services, grocery shopping, public transit, and other services. And what happens if, as a result of continued spread, our state decides to essentially "shut down" the way Mexico did for a week. That's fine in a small village or big city where you can essentially get what you need by walking. But how does that work on the 680 corridor?
I'm not saying that it would definitely come to that, but I think it's reasonable to think through that kind of a situation and make sure we're all prepared, much in the same way we would be prepared for an earthquake.
And in terms of minimizing the spread, now they're concerned about human to animal transmission. Canada is now reporting the first cases of actual live pigs having this exact same strain of virus, which they likely caught FROM the farmer, so now we have human to animal transmission. What happens if this thing mutates into something more deadly. Or if it spreads to more pig populations. Or if our bird populations start getting this and it unlocks the key that makes the dreaded Avian Flu more portable from human to human.
It's just silly to reason, "I'm not going to worry until thousands of people are dying." I'm not urging everyone to run for the hills, but I think trying to seem nonchalant and cynical about the statistics is really laughable. And it sets a precedent for other people, perhaps maybe younger people or people that aren't as well informed, it tells them they don't really have to be all that dilligent. "Hey, it's just the flu, man." So they're going to go to work or out with friends even though they're not 100%, and they're going to unwittingly spread this even further.
And Tired, the big difference to me between Swine flu and those stats... is you can't "catch" Stroke, Cancer, Septicemia, Heart Disease, and Diabetes standing on the bart train or shopping in the grocery store. And if this turned into something more deadly, it could potentially knock off that many people in one fell swoop. Why wait till it starts mutating into something more deadly before taking this seriously?