Schools prepare for possible swine flu outbreak

| 08/09/2009

(CNS): The Public Health Department (PHD) has taken steps to secure H1N1 flu vaccine and an immunization programme will be initiated as soon as the vaccine arrives on-island, government has announced. Parents are being urged to keep sick children at home and principals are asked to immediately report unusually high numbers of sickness and/or absences among students or teachers to the Education Department and to immediately send home anyone who develops symptoms while at school inan effort to prepare for any possible surge in H1N1 flu cases.

However, at last week’s press briefing Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush reported that the latest data from PHD indicates that the number of flu cases in the Cayman Islands has fallen to ‘usual’ levels during the last week and is comparable to thesame period in 2008.

“However, we need to remain vigilant. The World Health Organization has warned of the possibility of ‘an explosion’ in the number of H1N1 cases as we head for the fall flu season,” Bush said.

Controlling flu outbreaks in schools was of particular concern, he said. As such, the Public Health Department and the Health and Education ministries met last month and considered a range of prevention and control strategies to deal with any resurgence or outbreak in schools. Staff and administrators of the government schools were briefed on the measures at the commencement ceremony for the 2009/2010 academic year, Bush explained.

“The goal is to keep schools open and functioning in a normal manner during this flu season, and school closures will only be considered as a last resort. In large part, we will be following the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said the LoGB. “We have also asked schools to conduct active flu surveillance and report unusual numbers of sickness, and to arrange for sick children and staff to be sent home.”

Bush noted that the PHD had taken steps to secure H1N1 flu vaccine and an immunization programme will be initiated as soon as the vaccine arrives on-island. However, for the time being our best line of defence is preventing the spread of the H1N1 virus through social distancing, keeping sick children out of school and hand washing, he said.

“Employers must review their contingency plans so they can keep functioning in a normal manner should there be a resurgence of H1N1 during this flu season. Public health officials have already met with members of the Chamber of Commerce and shared recommendations on how businesses can prepare for the pandemic. Businesses should factor in granting parents leave to stay at home with sick children,” Buhs said.

There is a 24-hour flu hotline at 926-2812 and a dedicated email address You can also visit, or .

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  1. Jedi Dread says:

     Don’t give this poison to your children. H1N1 is no worse than the regular flu, just slightly more contagious.

    Cayman News Service… beg you to do an article on Flu Vaccine dangers.

  2. Helpful link says:

    For any concerned parents this handy link helps explain the symptoms and treatment options for swine flu and other related diseases.  I found it very helpful.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Yup…my little gril was at school 4 whole days before she come down with the flu!

    Keep your kids home if they are sick!