PHILADELPHIA — A second grade student died from flu complications Sunday evening, according to officials with the Marple Newtown School District.
School officials said they were in contact with medical officials, who said the flu strains this year have been very aggressive. The student’s teacher was also confirmed to have the flu and was scheduled to be out for the rest of the week.
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Superintendent Tina Kaine issued a statement after the passing of the student:
Good Evening Parents/Guardians of the Marple Newtown School District Community,
This is Tina Kane, Superintendent of Schools. I apologize for the late evening call, however we have been working diligently to investigate the death of a 2nd grade student at Worrall last evening as a result of complications resulting from Influenza B. In this regard, we would like to share new medical information with you.
We have reached out to medical professionals in the County and Region, in particular, Infectious Disease Doctors. They have advised that this has been a very aggressive flu season and the Influenza has infected adults and an unusually high volume of children. We have also been advised that Influenza B has an incubation period of four (4) days, meaning that individuals can spread the infection before they are symptomatic.
In all likelihood, all of the students in this 2nd grade classroom have been exposed to the Influenza B virus. Furthermore, it is probable that other students or staff members in Worrall have been exposed to the virus. Quite frankly, since the virus is airborne, the entire district should be on high alert for signs and symptoms of the flu.
We have also become aware that the student’s teacher has influenza B and is being treated with Tamiflu and will be out of school this week. The Infectious Disease Doctors have advised that Tamiflu is effective within the first 48 hours following the manifestation of symptoms. In this connection, medical professionals advise that any students, staff, or anyone, with cold or flu like symptoms such as redness of the eyes, fever, coughing, sneezing, chills, body aches, or any respiratory discomfort should seek immediate medical attention and depending on the diagnosis take Tamilfu as prescribed.
If students present symptoms during school, they will be sent home immediately. In the event that your child exhibits any signs of illness, please keep your child home and seek immediate medical attention.
Please monitor your email for additional information. I will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Thank you for your heartfelt thoughts and prayers.
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
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