Oldham Parents Really Want to Know

Parents in Oldham County are pretty upset with the school system there. They want to know more about the student who has come down with the swine flu — like which school the student was attending.

But the school system says it’s not telling — preferring to anger parents by leaving them in the dark rather than risking a mass exodus when panic sets in if it were to identify the building where the supposed infectious student was located.

“We don’t want to set off a panic at that school or to become lax on precautions at other schools,” the school system attorney, Anne Coorssen said.

See, if parents know for certain the flu has been in their child’s school, then they’ll probably keep them home from school, as we learned in Jefferson County last spring when the flu was identified at Meyzeek Middle School. Oldham County parents only know the flu has been in one of the county’s 18 schools.

So the system sent parents a note and called them on the phone — advising them to make sure they washed their hands a lot. One parent told me the hand-washing rituals at an elementary school aren’t scheduled.

Let’s hope the local media reports on school attendance today in Oldham County.

This is from the Oldham Era’s report:

Superintendent Paul Upchurch sent a letter home with each student Wednesday with a follow-up automated call stating that there has been a case of H1N1 flu in an Oldham County student. A parent notified the school that their child’s doctor diagnosed the flu, but lab results haven’t confirmed it yet.

So, some general practitioner saw a child in his office, told the child’s parent that it was H1N1, who told the school.

Linda Goss, director of Infection Control at the University of Louisville hospital, said that the swine flu is easily diagnosed using a Rapid Flu Test. So it’s hard to poke holes in the diagnosis, though we can’t be certain the school system contacted the doctor, and we’d like to know why they haven’t identified the doctor as a credible source for cautioning the public.

Telling parents part of the story, when it comes to a disease in school, isn’t good enough.