No announcement yet.

Swine flu to be closely watched in Nunavut schools

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Swine flu to be closely watched in Nunavut schools


    Swine flu to be closely watched in Nunavut schools
    Last Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | 8:02 AM CT
    CBC News

    As Nunavut students prepare to go back to school, education officials are gearing up for a potential second wave of swine flu cases this fall by warning parents and educators to watch out for flu-like symptoms.

    The territorial Education Department is working with health officials to monitor and curb the H1N1 virus in schools, which can be an ideal environment for the virus to spread.

    "We're working closely with the Department of Health and Social Services and following their recommendations, as well as the recommendations of the Public Health Agency [of] Canada," Peter Geikie, Nunavut's assistant deputy minister of school services, told CBC News on Tuesday.

    "Those measures have already been sent out to our school staff, our principals. We have a letter going out this week, as well, to parents."

    The letter will ask parents to keep their children home if they show signs of flu-like illness, Geikie said.

    Nunavut was hit hard by a swine flu outbreak earlier this year. As of last week, a total 560 cases were confirmed in the territory since late May.

    Of those cases, 48 per cent originated in the Kivalliq region, followed by 28 per cent in the Kitikmeot region and 25 per cent in the Baffin region, according to the Health Department.

    Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued guidelines for schools to follow when it comes to swine flu, stressing prevention measures such as proper handwashing and frequently cleaning surfaces such as doorknobs and keyboards.

    However, the federal guidelines do not recommend widespread school closures.

    Geikie said Nunavut has no firm criteria for school closures if the flu situation becomes serious. Instead, such decisions will be made in collaboration with the Health Department and district education authorities, he said.

    Geikie said his department has already built a few extra days into the school calendar to cover any unexpected events.