As the air gets colder and the wind gets stronger, more and more kids are coming into Penn Manor High School sick as dogs.
Parents have called with concerns to the nurses’ office with fears of a Swine Flu epidemic and Penn Manor nurse, Anne Butterfield, has calmly answered their calls of anxiety.
Yes, this is flu season but no, not every sick kid has Swine Flu, known officially as H1N1, explained Butterfield.
However, Butterfield did note that she has been getting one to two calls a day from parents saying that doctors have diagnosed students with Swine Flu.
“Physicians are diagnosing H1N1 in our community,” she said, describing that flu strain as peculiar because of the way it hits people from ages 5 to 25.
Some of those students had come to Butterfield complaining about fever, body aches and a sore throat. As soon as she hears those symptoms, classic of Swine Flu and other influenza, she quarantines the students and sends them home.
“It’s a very contagious virus and it can make you feel very bad and can lead to secondary infections,” said Butterfield. “I think we need to do things to prevent it.”
As a nurse, Butterfield cannot diagnose Swine Flu on her own but she can give some helpful hints to stay in tip-top shape. Plenty of rest, good nutrition, washing your hands as much as possible and the most important one, stay away from sick people, no matter what the sickness, she advises.
“If you would get a sudden onset of high fever, see your doctor, because you can get an anti-viral medication that will lessen the severity of the symptoms and the length of time you have them,” stated Butterfield. “Stay home until you are FEVER FREE for at least 24 hours.”
People who are sick with the Swine Flu could be out for several days at a time, since Swine Flu typically lasts four days, according to Butterfield. Students can email teachers and have family members or friends bring home work
Vaccinations are now available in other states and when it comes to Pennsylvania, Butterfield supports them. She gave some advice. “Get vaccinated.
“Nothing is 100% but you’ll get pretty good coverage.”
Written by: Jake Shiner and Alex Blythe