Keep children with cold, fever at home
By Vashtee Achaibar Wednesday, October 9 2013
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School song: The Lengua Presbyterian Primary School performs at an official opening ceremony of the school in Lengua, Barrackpore yesterday....
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh is advising parents of children who have the common cold and, moreso, if it is accompanied by a high fever to keep them at home as a means of safeguarding other students in light of the H1N1 threat facing the country.
“All in all we are going to ask the parents of children who have the common cold to keep them away from school, particularly during the time they have the fever,” Gopeesingh, a medical doctor, said yesterday.
Students who display exaggerated symptoms of the cold will be sent for screening for the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, Gopeesingh told reporters following the formal opening of Lengua Presbyterian Primary School in Lengua, Barrackpore,
Assuming that everything will be “normal”, Gopeesingh said as a means of further ensuring the virus does not spread, literature has been sent to schools advising students of practising good personal hygiene, particularly the frequent washing of hands to prevent the virus from spreading from person to person.
“What we are doing is sending out information and literature to the various school principals for prevention by ensuring good personal hygiene, ensuring washing of hands and so on, and if there are any severe cases that you can differentiate the common cold from the H1N1 by the rapidity and severity of the symptoms. So if you get severe body aches, severe headaches, breathing problems you know it is one of these major problems,” he said. The Permanent Secretary and the Ministry of Education’s technical team met with the Ministry of Health’s technical team yesterday to discuss protocols for use in schools in light of the H1N1 virus.
Gopeesingh said he discussed the issue with Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, on Monday, and noted Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, at a public meeting in Chaguanas that night, disclosed she had called for 60,000 vaccines to be purchased.
The Ministry of Health has been advising citizens that children are at a higher risk of contracting the H1N1 virus, as well as persons who suffer from breathing problems such as asthma.
The Health Ministry has also advised that not everyone needs the H1N1 vaccine and persons with normal immune systems would be able to ward off the virus. Gopeesingh told reporters the H1N1 threat will be handled in pretty much the same way as a few years ago when there was an outbreak of the common cold.