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Bhutan: Flu hit schools closed for the week

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  • Bhutan: Flu hit schools closed for the week

    Influenza A H1N1 13 April, 2011 - After 17 students tested positive for influenza A (H1N1) in Lhuentse, authorities have closed the Phuyum higher secondary and Thimyul lower secondary schools until the end of this week to prevent the flu from spreading.

    Phuyum HSS was closed from April 11 and will remain so until Friday; while Thimyul LSS will be closed from today until Sunday.

    On April 4, 29 students from Phuyum HSS in visited the Lhuentse hospital for fever, headache and throat ache.

    District medical officer, Dr Thinley Pelzang, said there were cases of cough and cold among the students, who visited the hospital on that day, after which the numbers kept rising.

    The next day, Dr Thinley Pelzang visited the Lhuentse primary school, where three of the 10 students tested positive for the flu. The same day, seven students in Phuyum HSS were checked randomly. They all tested positive.

    The samples were then sent to the public health laboratory in Thimphu for confirmation on April 6.

    The results were confirmed yesterday and, while the two schools are closed, Lhuentse primary school is yet to decide on suspending classes.

    Dr Thinley Pelzang said that there is no reason for people to panic. “Any possibility of H1N1 outbreak is being looked into, and measures are put in place to contain the spread,” he said. ‘’And almost 90 percent of the students are getting treatment.’’

    Phuyum HSS principal Ngawang Dorji said, as a preventive measure, the school yesterday sent 70 “un-infected students home, while those infected were kept in the hostel”.

    “The sick students are kept in hostels and given porridge to supplement their diet,” the principal said.

    All sick students were also given H1N1 vaccination and should recover in the next few days, said the DMO.

    There are 27 schools and three extended classrooms in Lhuentse. The dzongkhag education officer, Phuntsho Wangdi, said they have informed all the school principals to be alert.