TO ALL PARENTS:
A group of 22 students and three staff had been in Mexico for 3 weeks on a Spanish Language trip and they returned home on Saturday.
There was been an outbreak of flu in Mexico in the last week that students were there. It is a new strain of flu that comes from pigs but can be passed from human to human. World Health Authorities are concerned because it is a new virus and there have been deaths in Mexico from it.
13 students and 1 staff member were feeling unwell on their return. Public Health Authorities have connected the situation in Mexico with the students returning from there and have treated the situation as a possible introduction of the new flu into New Zealand. They asked all students and the staff to stay at home with their families. The 13 people showing symptoms of flu were tested and 10 came back positive for the Type A Flu virus. Type A could include the new strain. Further tests are being carried out in Melbourne to determine the exact nature of the virus. Media reports of it being the ‘swine flu’ have not been verified.
All infected students and the one staff member are being treated for flu as are their family members. All are rapidly improving and none are at any risk. The rest of the trip students and staff have been tested for a flu virus and we are awaiting the results.
All 22 students and the 3 staff are at home and are not allowed to go outside their houses until they have been given the all clear by the Health Authorities. This quarantine applies to all people living in the home who have been in contact with the students.
Health Authorities have told us that there is no risk that the flu could be brought into school as the students have not been to school. The school has identified those students that had contact with any student on the Mexican trip on Saturday afternoon and evening before the quarantine was enforced. They were sent home and asked to stay at home until they have been cleared. This was purely a precautionary measure. If we have missed anyone please let us know immediately - close contact means in the same room or within a three metre circle.
Once again please be assured health authorities tell us there is no risk to staff and students and school will continue as normal. We are in regular contact with them and will act on any developments.
It is a good time to remind everyone that the best things you can do to stop the spread of any type of influenza virus is to:
●stay at home and away from others if you are sick
●cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
●put used tissues into a rubbish bin
●avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth – germs spread that way
●be careful to wash hands often with soap and dry them thoroughly – hand hygiene is critical: ●even when you start to feel better there is still a risk of infecting others, so keep to the 20/20 rule – 20 seconds washing and 20 seconds drying
●keep surfaces clean at home, school and work.