Tyrrell School Closed Through Sunday

A Code Red message was distributed Wednesday afternoon annonucing that Tyrrell Middle School will be closed for the rest of the week. So far, 4 students have tested positive for the Swine Flu virus. Fourteen seventeen students and one two teachers have tested positive for the regular flu virus. The closure will last all weekend and affect all classes, evening events, and Sunday CCD classes.

“Staff will do a scrub down in all buildings. That includes water fountains, bathooms, cafeteria tables, door handles and hand rails in the stairwells,” said Superintendant Dr. Thomas Smyth. School busses will also be disinfected to reduce potential transmittal. A disinfectant called PH7Q will be used in upcoming days, as it has been on a daily basis for the past month in all schools. This cleaner is used in hospitals and kills all types of influenza viruses. Only Tyrrell Middle School has been affected and all other schools will remain open. The last day of school is still June 19th and Middle School graduation ceremonies will be unaffected, according a news release by the Superintendent’s office.

Last Thursday, 26 eighth graders became sick while on their field trip to Washington DC. The class trip returned home early with the sick students placed on one of the four buses. When they returned to Tyrrell, the sick students were released to their parents in a separate area than those without symptoms. Since Monday, increasing numbers of students at Tyrrell were absent. On Wednesday 211 stayed home. Dr. Smyth noted that the school system has been tracking the reasons for being absent, though many of those students were not sick.

As a reminder, no one should attend school or go to work if they exhibit any potentially contagious illness or flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include a high fever, sore throat, or a hacking cough. Any two of these symptoms can be considered contagious and possible signs of influenza. While the flu is very unpleasant, it is usually dangerous only to very young children or those with underlying medical conditions. Symptoms usually resolve in 5-7 days.

The Centers for Disease Control says “Everyone should take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, including frequent hand washing and people who are sick should stay home and avoid contact with others in order to limit further spread of disease.” If someone in your family appears sick, be extra vigilant in cleaning sufaces. While illness may make you lose your appetite, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent severe dehydration caused by vomiting or diahrea.

Should you decide to see a doctor, don’t forget that St. Mary’s Hospital has a walk-in clinic on Wolcott Rd. at the corner of Potuccos Ring Rd. If your doctor cannot easily accomodate you, this may be an option. It is certainly better than the emergency room or a more crowded clinic where you might wait longer and expose yourself and others to the flu.


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