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Middle School Absences Due To Swine Flu

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Aired 10/13/09

An outbreak of swine flu caused a large number of sixth graders to miss school last week in the Poway District.

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Above: KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge explains the flu vaccine and how County Health Department officials are going to work with school districts to vaccinate children at school.

An outbreak of swine flu caused a large number of sixth graders to miss school last week in the Poway Unified School District.

Two weeks ago, students at Oak Valley Middle School attended a sixth grade camp and more than 20 students went home ill. Last week, many of the students who went to camp didn't show up for school. In fact, 131 sixth graders missed school that Monday. Now, San Diego County Health officer Wilma Wooten says lab tests have confirmed what the health department had suspected. The H1N1 virus was the cause of the flu-like illnesses and the high absentee rate.

"This virus is widespread throughout the community," Wooten said. "It is everywhere. And we will see more outbreaks at schools."

Wooten says the people who had the swine flu have recovered. The Power School District reports absentee rates for Oak Valley Middle School are back to normal.

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