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School students quarantined

School students quarantined

1 May, 2009
School students quarantined

Lindisfarne College, on the advice of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Public Health Unit, has sent home or isolated a number of boys and teachers who have recently returned from North America.

Medical Officer of Health Caroline McElnay said the decision to isolate 27 boys and four of the school’s teachers was a precautionary measure after three of the boys developed symptoms after returning to New Zealand on Tuesday.

Dr McElnay said samples had been taken from the boys, who had flu like symptoms, since their return to Hawke’s Bay, They had been isolated and offered Tamiflu. The other boys and teachers who had no obvious flu symptoms, but had been in contact with the sick boys, were spoken to by public health nurses last night, (Thursday April 30) offered Tamiflu and quarantined. Some extra samples were also taken last night

“We appreciate the support of Lindisfarne College and understand that isolating the students will cause huge disruption to the school, including the postponement of the gala opening of the auditorium and arts centre. However, it is important that we limit any exposure to other students until the results from samples are available,” Dr McElnay said.

College Rector Grant Lander said while he was very disappointed that quarantining the students –who were all in the school orchestra - had forced the postponement of the gala opening, he wanted to be supportive and responsible.

Mr Lander said the postponement was going to affect 300 invited guests, but he hoped they would understand the predicament the school was in.

The school hoped to reschedule the event to May 16.

A small number of boys, who were boarders and unable to go home, would be kept in isolation at the school , however the majority of students affected had gone home, Mr Lander said.

Dr McElnay said that the Public Health Unit expected results from all the samples taken to be available over the next few days.

ENDS

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