Despite increasing swine flu concerns, South stays strong

By Morgan Seiler
Published: November 2009

Contrary to a recent Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) email disclosing the increased rate of absences in the Newton Public Schools for influenza-like illness, South displays little rise in flu-related absences, according to head nurse Gail Kramer.

“[South's] numbers are steady this year, she said.

Kramer regularly reports the number of students coming down with influenza-like illnesses to the Health Department.

English teacher Jodie Daynard recalls that several of her students have been absent because of H1N1.

Despite this, Daynard has yet to notice a decline in attendance that would make this year different from past years.

“People are just being more careful, Daynard said. “Everyone’s taking it pretty well.

While the flu might not be as dangerous as the media makes it out to be, some students have received vaccines.

“My dad told me to get vaccinated so I don’t get sick, vaccinated senior Jeff Lewis said. “He’s not really worried, but he got the flu last year.

According to Lewis, the vaccination process took two minutes. After receiving the vaccination, Lewis recalls experiencing minor flu symptoms, which include a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, coughing, and sore throat.

Officials recommend students to take at least the most basic precaution and wash your hands.

Kramer believes the media has hyped up the flu.

“People can normally handle the flu, Kramer said. “There are more underlying issues.

Junior Nahuel Fefer also feels that the dangers of the H1N1 are exaggerated.

“It still has substantial threats, Fefer said. “It caused the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of pigs.

Those that are not expressing skepticism appear relatively apathetic because South has felt so little impact.

“It hasn’t really affected me. It doesn’t bother me, sophomore Stephanie Li said.

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