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Kajonkietsuksa School issues statement on swine flu

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Kajonkietsuksa School issues statement on swine flu | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Kajonkietsuksa School has had two cases of swine flu and no deaths, the school management has said.

School Manager Permkiat Ketkul said the school closed for a “big cleaning” on Friday after the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) confirmed a kindergarten student as having the A(H1N1) virus two days earlier.

The PPHO inspected the entire school, which comprises two separate buildings in tambon Wichit, one for its Thai program and another for its English program.

Both infected students were in the Thai program building.

“We asked the PPHO for their suggestions. They recommended keeping our buildings very clean, but not closing the school. They said that if we had more than three students infected in the same class we should close that class. If we have more than 10 students infected in the same level, then we should close that level,” Mr Permkiat said.

The school also consulted doctors from Bangkok Hospital Phuket whose children study at the school.

“The doctors told us closing the school is not the best solution and that the best method is to keep any infected students at home. One doctor showed me statistics that the number of people dying from A(H1N1) is less than 0.5%, less than the mortality rate from normal flu, which is 0.7%.”

The decision to close the school on June 26 for the cleaning was more for “psychological reasons”– to make the parents feel more at ease, Mr Permkiat added.

Classes resumed on Monday, June 29, as normal.

On Wednesday parents of another student in the Thai program informed the school the child was being treated at Bangkok Phuket Hospital with a confirmed case of A(H1N1) infection.

Another student suffering from high fever at the time was also suspected of having A(H1N1), but was later diagnosed as having normal influenza, he said.

“On Thursday, two doctors with children in the school recommended against closing the school on Friday, July 3. But a doctor in Bangkok told us since we were going into a three-day holiday the next week anyway, it might be a good idea to close because it would give a six-day period during which time any other students who might have been infected would pass through the contagious stage,” he said.

The school decided to close on Friday and informed the students at assembly on Thursday morning.

“When some of the parents heard about it they began to panic and wanted to take their children home that day. We told them that was their decision,” he said.

Mr Permkiat said he thought much of the panic spread among parents who called each other was due to misconception that the two infected students were still on school grounds, wheras, in fact, they had not been at the school since Monday.

Rumors of a death and numerous cases of infection, such as those referred to in the Gazette / Thai Visa Phuket forum, were simply untrue, Mr Permkiat said, adding, “I think the information got twisted a lot when it was passed from parent to parent. We at the school try to do our best and we understand that parents will do anything for their kids. I think we have all learned from this experience.”

During the current break the school will also spray for mosquitoes to prevent the insect-borne viral disease chikungunya from spreading, he added.

— Stephen Fein


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