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October 19th, 2009
San Marcos CISD addresses student flu death


Following the recent death of a Miller Middle School student from influenza complications, San Marcos CISD Superintendent Patty Shafer said schools will continue to operate normally, but implored families to keep their children out of school if they show any signs of flu.

It was the first flu-related death in Hays County this season.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends at this difficult time,” Shafer said in a letter the school district sent home with students last week. “The child suffered from pre-existing health conditions unrelated to influenza. We are working closely with health officials to monitor the situation, and at this time, schools will remain open and operating normally.”

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) said it saw 1,122 patients to presented flu-like symptoms. On Sept. 28, the CTMC emergency room saw a record 207 patients, with 95 of them presenting flu-like symptoms.

“Practice good hand hygiene, practice your respiratory etiquette, and stay home if you’re sick,” said San Marcos CISD District Nurse Dyanna Eastwood. “This is for your own benefit and for those around you. Symptoms of the novel H1N1 are usually mild, especially if you take advantage of the anti-viral medications.  If we all take responsibility for our own health, we can slow the spread of the virus, and deal with it effectively.”

Hays County officials announced last week that they have run out of seasonal flu vaccine for its public clinics. The county expects H1N1 vaccine to be available in November.

“Let me assure you that the health and well being of our students is my top priority, and we are doing everything possible to address the situation,” Shafer said. “San Marcos CISD has implemented aggressive sanitation measures at all campuses since the start of school. District custodians are frequently disinfecting common areas such as hallways, lockers, doorknobs, keyboards, hand rails, and school buses with recommended germicides.”

The school district said people with flu should stay away from work or school until there has been no fever greater than 100 degrees for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.

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0 thoughts on “San Marcos CISD addresses student flu death

  1. Let me assure you that the health and well being of our students is my top priority, and we are doing everything possible to address the situation,” Shafer said.
    Is it possible for the above quote to be true if they (the cdc, who, state and local health departments and the school authorities)know that children with pre-existing health conditions cannot fight off this virus nearly as well as those that start out healthy. That being said if the children are truly the concern as top priority and not the economy then the schools would be closed or at the very least the “at risk” students would be at home for the duration of the pandemic or their immunization could take place.
    It’s the economy short and simple. What’s your child worth?

  2. I do not think that taking an “at risk” child out of the classroom is panic in any way shape or form. If you see your child about to run in front of a moving vehicle by all means panic… run as fast as you can, scream at them, whatever it takes to stop them from dying. I do not believe that all children should be removed from the school….only that the children with existing conditions that would make them more susceptable to flu complications should be removed until they can be protected by getting their vaccine.
    Since when is protecting children from an illness that could take their lives panic… sounds like a standard cdc mimic to me. My grandchildren are at school… my children are at work… but the children that should be protected are not being protected because the government doesn’t want the public to PANIC. By the way…. how much are your children and grandchildren worth to you Larry? The economy would be disrupted if we shut down the schools and the parents could not work because they had to stay home and keep their children home. I believe IT IS ABOUT THE ECONOMY….the fragile recovery the economy has made could not stand the jolt from shutting down everything so the choice is made to lose the children for its sake.

  3. Underlying conditions that exacerbate the Influenza strain H1N1 also include obesity (at least according to early studies so far this year). That is a lot of at “at risk” kids that have to stay at home. How would we identify the other “at risk” kids? Maybe the government could read our medical records and decide who is allowed to be at school. No thanks. Perhaps it is better to have parents take an active role in identifying risk factors for influenza in their own children.

  4. I believe Dr. Shafer has made good decisions when addressing issues with this flu illness. Notes had been sent home early in the school year, school nurses were very aggressive about sending home ill students, and most importantly, the custodians worked hard on continually disinfecting desks, chairs, water fountains and doorknobs. (Be sure to thank your school’s custdians the next time you see them!) I disagree that the schools should have been closed. It had beeen documented that this flu was not as dangerous to most people as expected. For parents of medically fragile children, I’m not going to second guess them; I imagine that every time they bring their child out to a public place, they know there is some risk of their child getting sick from the many different viruses going around. My heart goes out to those families that try to provide a normal life for their children who struggle so…

  5. Anyone who sends their children to Public Schools in this state are either out of their minds or do not have the economic ability to do anything else. For the latter group this is very sad that when you send your kid to school, you might never have them return again. You choose what’s going to kill your kid… a school shooting or school related Swine Flu?

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