Officials are reporting two suspected cases of swine flu in an elementary school in Spencer, west of Worcester.
Two siblings, in second and third grades at the Lake Street School, reported flu-like symptoms this morning, after returning from a family vacation in Mexico on Saturday, said Ralph Hicks, superintendent of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District.
The children were taken to the pediatrician and tested for swine flu, and those samples are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said.
"I had the principal take the rest of the children out of the rooms, the custodian disinfected surfaces, things kids would touch, desk tops, door knobs, and this evening the entire building is being disinfected," Hicks said.
The school district is bringing in four or five extra custodians for the cleaning, and will also be disinfecting the school bus the two siblings rode this morning, he said.
Meanwhile, in Lowell, health officials are still waiting word on whether two siblings who also developed flu like symptoms after a Mexican vacation have tested positive for the respiratory illness.
Frank Singleton, director of Lowell's Department of Health, said late this afternoon that he had still not heard from state officials about the swabs sent to the CDC over the weekend. He said one of the two youngsters reported feeling ill last Thursday, and the other on Sunday.
The two children, who visited Mexico during school vacation, did not go back to school after returning from their trip, greatly reducing the chances that classmates would be exposed to the virus.
About white coat notes
|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor
Elizabeth Comeau, Senior Health Producer