552 Children Have Flu Symptoms In Public Schools

The Department of Education reported today that 552 children have flu symptoms in the 791 schools that are operating, but none are suspected of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Of those 552 children, 39 tested positive for influenza and 35 for mycoplasma.

“Not all children with flu symptoms have influenza or mycoplasma. The latter are, by far, lower numbers, ”said Education Secretary Eligio Hernández.

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In the 791 schools that are operating – some remain closed after the January 7 earthquake -, there is an enrollment of 251,000 students.

“We have no suspicious case of COVID-19,” stressed Hernández.

The Education protocol states that if there is a child who has flu symptoms, their parents or guardians are called to pick them up at school. The child can only return to class if they present a health certificate, signed by a pediatrician, guaranteeing that they are not ill.

“There will be follow-up so that (parents or guardians) can share what was the diagnosis made by the pediatrician,” said Hernandez.

“This is relevant for us because, to identify an outbreak of influenza in a classroom, it is closed, disinfected and the days recommended by pediatricians must be counted for students to return,” he added.

An outbreak would be declared if 10% or more of the students in a classroom are diagnosed with influenza or mycoplasma.

The data presented by the secretary correspond to last Friday.

Activate campaign

Yesterday, Education sent a circular letter notifying about an educational campaign to promote and protect health in schools and offices following universal precautionary measures for the prevention of the transmission of influenza, mycoplasma and possible cases of COVID-19.

In the letter, signed by the Undersecretary for Academic Affairs, Aixamar González, it is indicated that, if someone from the school community is ill, they should limit contact with other people to avoid contagion.

It is also urged to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects daily, as well as the materials that students share. Also, you are asked to wash your hands with soap and water, for 20 seconds, before, during and after preparing food; before eating; before and after caring for someone sick; and after using the bathroom, among many other instances.

Members of the school community should cover their mouth and nose when coughing, and influenza vaccination is recommended.

“Protecting our health is a commitment to life,” Gonzalez said in the letter, from which El Nuevo Día obtained a copy.

Electronic notification

On the other hand, Hernández reported that, starting this Monday, schools will be able to electronically notify the agency of cases of children with flu-like symptoms.

Until now, this process has been completed manually or by phone.

“With that information, a report is prepared, but it is still a paper document. We are implementing the technology, and with this new monitoring and reporting system, which will be online, we will have better data quality. We will have a better tract of schools, ”he said.

The government is currently investigating four suspected cases of COVID-19 on the island.

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