Lansing School Closes For Swine Flu Fears

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Schools don't clean from floor to ceiling every time a student gets sick.

But one student's symptoms has Windemere Park Charter Academy sanitizing every surface.

"Very high fever, sore throat, achey bones," describes school spokeswoman Tara Powers of the first grader's symptoms.

Swine flu symptoms, it seems, which has prompted a complete cleaning of the school and the cancellation of classes all day Friday.

"We decided to take precautionary measures and actually close school today and do a really deep cleaning of all surfaces. We want to get test results before deciding what next steps should be," Powers says.

Powers says an empty school is better than a sick school.

"Our concern is the health and well-being of the students. We know this can be passed around fairly easily. We figured let's contain it the best way possible if it is in fact the swine strain," Powers says.

But closing the school down to make sure there are no traces of swine flu-- or any kind of flu for that matter-- is not something the health department says is necessary.

"There is really no benefit that we've identified from a broad scale sanitizing of school," says Dr. Dean Sienko, director of the Ingham County Health Department. "We have not recommended that anyone close at this point-- day care, school, any work site."

Sienko says closing school every time kids show flu symptoms won't help anything.

"We have to find a balance here," Sienko says.

But Powers stands by her school's decision.

"When you're dealing with small children and people's kids, you don't want to take any risks," she says.

Around 4:30 p.m. Friday, test results came back that showed the student does not have the swine flu; she instead has a case of the typical influenza. Class will be open on Monday.


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