Swine flu causes ChCh school closure
Wednesday 18 Aug 2010 2:42 p.m.
A Christchurch primary school closed its doors today after a student was diagnosed with swine flu.
Emmanuel Christian School principal Jill Garrett told NZPA one of the girl's parents called yesterday evening with the news - she had been absent since Friday.
The Bishopdale school gave students a day off, deciding it would close as a precautionary measure.
Ms Garrett said cleaners were disinfecting all surfaces its 137 students would touch such as the tables, chairs, and computers.
The school would re-open tomorrow.
Ms Garrett asked parents not send children to school who were experiencing flu symptoms.
The symptoms of flu can include a high fever, headache, cough, sore throat, tiredness and generally aching all over.
Young children, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of more complicated or severe illness.
Six deaths have been linked with swine flu this winter, as more people call the influenza hotline and vaccine doses are expected to run out by the end of the month.
Ministry director of public health Mark Jacobs has said there are about 6400 influenza vaccinations still available, but the ministry was looking at options for extending immunisation while demand continued, he said.
Young children needed a longer time as they required two doses a month apart to be assured of best protection.
Schools were reporting routine levels of children being away from school due to illness - based on information from selected schools around the country, at the end of last week no region was reporting average sickness rates above 15 percent.