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Swine flu reported in Southern Calif.

UPDATE: OUSD spokesman Troy Flint confirmed late Friday afternoon that no cases had been reported to the school district.

Schools, libraries and museums in Mexico have closed because of an outbreak of swine flu that has killed dozens of people. So far six cases have been reported in California — mostly in the San Diego area. I haven’t heard of any in the Bay Area.


Associated Press photo, Mexico City

If, like me, you hadn’t heard of this virus before this outbreak, here are some facts about it from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It apparently spreads from human to human like the common flu — and, according to the CDC, you don’t catch it from eating pork.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    If this truly is an outbreak of a dangerous, high fatality flu variant, school closures are an important tactic to slow the spread of the disease to give the government time to assemble treatment resources as well as develop a vaccine.

    The problem is that the decision to order school closures a legally up to the public health officers who for various reasons will not use that power until it is too late. In CA our public health officers are largely women and largely social worker mindsets. They loathe enforcement and prefer to let everybody do whatever they want (placing an exaggerated emphasis on “privacy” “freedom” and “personal rights” of everybody but the corpses).

    They will no more fight flu outbreaks in schools than they will fight AIDS outbreaks in schools. Or Drug-resistant Tuberculosis either for that matter.

    If and when we do get hit with anything similar to the 1918 flu pandemic watch for the military being put in charge. When that happens you’ll know we are in real trouble.

  • http://www.germywormy.com Margaret Back

    As Swine Flu is spread by human to human contact, and children are the # 1 spreaders of germs, it becomes imperative to educate children on how germs are spread.
    Young children don’t spread germs because they want to, they don’t know how NOT to.
    Germy Wormy Germ Smart for Kids educates and entertains kids while teaching them how to NOT spread germs.
    Please pass along to anyone who has young children and is concerned about the spread of the Swine Flu
    http://www.germywormy.com

  • harlemmoon

    Tell Troy he needn’t wait too long before the deadly flu hits the school district. By the way, has OUSD issued a release or notice of some sort telling parents/students/teachers how best to avoid the swine flu? Has the district taken any extraordinary precautions (e.g., staying alert, watching for symptoms). Are they collaborating with the county health department in any way?
    Oh, my bad. All this would be PROACTIVE.

  • Katy Murphy

    Letters went home yesterday with tips on preventing the spread of flu. Here’s the gist of the information, which was also posted on the OUSD Web site:

    http://webportal.ousd.k12.ca.us/WebItem.aspx?WebItemID=138&TabID=405

  • Nextset

    The reports out of Mexico City on the BBC website is far more dire than those in the USA mainstream media. Look for references to cases of pnuemonia, illnesses and death of medical personnel, and hospitalization of those in the prime of life (20-40 years old) as opposed to the very elderly and very young. Let’s hope this bug presents to us as a relatively mild flu outbreak the way the MSM says it is.

    I for one will be following the news on the foreign websites.

    If we are dealing with a real problem – and I hope we aren’t – schools public and private are vectors for such a disease. The public schools would do well to have standby protocols ready to run the schools as a correspondence course – through internet or mail – should it be required. One day our luck may run out and we will have to deal with another 1918 flu epidemic.

  • harlemmoon

    Thanks, Katy. Good to see the district issued some information on the topic.

  • John

    If this thing gets legs and attitude and the powers that be don’t shut down the transmission venues let’s hope the grief counselors don’t go on strike. It’ll be a time of rubber glove hand holding for sure.

    Jack! It’s time to take the school board out of moth balls to protect the children!? On the other hand we musn’t forget that an OUSD public school board meeting is a veritable breeding ground for all kinds of bad things. The state dictator model has proven a lot more sanitary. On second thought, perhaps the state atocracy should be retained until the bug is squashed or succumbs to natural causes?

    As evidenced by the prominence of flu season during WINTER months, ‘the bugs’ thrives in cold and collapse in heat. Consequently we should be encouraging, not discouraging, global warming. Maybe we should stop shoving related propaganda down student throats, thereby reducing the need for throat cultures?

    Anyway, my “degrees” are in Political Science and Education so it’s way over my head!