News 12 at 11 O'clock, October 13, 2009
AIKEN, S.C.. --- The H1N1 flu is already in the school system, but administrators are trying to at least slow down the spread of it with the vaccine.
It is one of the biggest concerns for parents, teachers and administrators and that's why the H1N1 virus showed up on the meeting agenda on Tuesday night. Aiken County School Board members voted to set up in-school clinics with the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Sharon Prestwood showed up at the school board meeting in Aiken
for a very specific reason --the H1N1 Flu.
"My five year old she was diagnosed positive with swine flu, and they treated her and her sister, my daughter which is four,"says Prestwood.
The mother of three says her pediatrician diagnosed one of her daughters with the H1N1, but not the other two. Her five year-old may be one of the confirmed cases in the school system.
"We do have some confirmed cases," says Dr. Cecelia Davidson, Aiken County Asst. Superintendent. "We have had a few students that DHEC has notified us that have been hospitalized, but it's below five."
Dr. Davidson says the school system is being proactive and is in preventive mode. That's why the board voted to partner with the DHEC to offer the vaccines at school. It is a step, Davidson says will hopefully help prevent the spreading.
"The number is below five and many of those other students had other underlying conditions that caused the H1N1 to affect them more severely,"adds Davidson.
Dr. Davidson went on to say there are already more students absent this year than last year this time. The goal now is to keep the virus at a minimum with the vaccine clinics.
"We do take it serious as a school district and we do keep track of what we have and we have no schools that have massive numbers to the point of closing," says Davidson. "The safety of our students and safety of our staff is foremost."
The dosages have not arrived in Aiken yet but will in the next few weeks.
News12 talked to the DHEC by phone and they say that the flu activity is widespread in virtually every South Carolina community - but parents shouldn't be alarmed.