Health Ministry calls on schools to isolate students with flu


Students displaying symptoms of the flu should be kept in a separate area where they cannot come into contact with other students and staff while a parent or guardian is notified to take them home, the Health Ministry has recommended.

Responding to fears of a particularly bad bout of influenza this season, during which 60 people have already died and 252 were hospitalized in intensive care, the Health Ministry called on schools to take action to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

In a circular, the ministry recommended that parents keep their children from attending school if they are showing any symptoms of infection. It also said that teachers should be wary of any signs that a student may be sick and keep the child separated from other students until he or she can be taken home.

Health authorities, meanwhile, warned that they expect a spike in flu infections over the next two weeks, warning the public to take precautionary measures such as avoiding public areas when displaying symptoms or contact with infected individuals. They stress that simple steps like coughing or sneezing into the crook of the elbow and washing hands regularly with an antiseptic agent can prevent contagion.