Seidenwurm urges parents to let healthy kids keep going to school in spite of flu

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo From left, Clovis schools Director of Nursing Rhonda Sparks, Curry County Health Office Nurse Manager Gayla Jaquess and Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos answer parents’ questions at special meeting Tuesday in Zia Elementary School.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

When only 15 parents came to the district’s informational flu meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm was glad.

“Not many parents means not many are as worried as they are in other districts,” Seidenwurm said.

Clovis schools Director of Nursing Rhonda Sparks, Curry County Health Office Nurse Manager Gayla Jaquess, and Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos were on hand at the meeting, held at Zia Elementary School, to answer questions parents might have about the flu, including H1N1, the new strand causing concern nationwide.

“Every school in every district in America will have a case of H1N1 before this is over,” Seidenwurm said. “That’s what the experts are telling us.”

Sparks said this flu season is the same as previous seasons.

“We will deal with the flu as we have every year,” Sparks said.

Few questions were asked. But Sparks said immunizations for the seasonal flu will be in the schools Oct. 19.

Students with no health problems will get a mist immunization and others with certain conditions such as asthma will get the shot.

Mostly, Sparks encouraged parents to keep their sick children at home until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication and to bring their healthy children to school.

“Germs are everywhere. Public schools are cleaner than Wal-Mart,” Sparks said. “Kids need to be at school.”

Jaquess answered a question about whether or not students will get vaccinations for H1N1.

“If we do, it will come in waves. The first wave is geared toward healthy 2 to 4-year-olds and will be a mist,” she said.