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PIA Press Release

Bulacan elementary school suspends classes after A(H1N1) flu hits 49 students

Manila (16 June) -- A public school in Bulacan suspended its classes after 49 students were suspected to have contracted the deadly A(H1N1) virus.

Keneth Tirado, communication unit chief of the Department of Education (DepEd), confirmed the suspension of classes in Doņa Candelaria Meneses Duque High School, in Bulacan, Bulacan for 10 days.

Tirado said there was no confirmation that the 49 students were indeed afflicted with the A(H1N1) virus but classes had been suspended for 10 days beginning last Thursday June 11 due to big number of students involved.

He also said that the Department of Health was conducting mapping out operation while school officials took the necessary precaution and measure to address the problem.

The students suspected of contracting the virus had been placed under quarantine.

The suspension of classes in Candelaria National High School, in Bulacan followed DOH declaration of a community outbreak of A(H1N1) in Hilera village in Jaen Nueva Ecija after 92 people showed symptoms of carrying the virus.

Hilera village is the first area to be placed under outbreak status. Reports claimed that some 6.3 percent of the village population of 1,622 were affected.

Earlier, reports said 11 students from Hilera Elementary School were confirmed to have contracted the novel virus, prompting school officials to suspend classes.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus reiterated his appeal to residents not to panic, especially parents of pupils in areas where there was an A(H1N1) outbreak.

He also urged parents and school officials to strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the Department of Health (DOH) on the A/H1N1 response alert level system.

"We have a procedure and we should be careful because this is the time of coughs and fever since it's the rainy season. They should have this checked with the doctors first and not make hasty judgments," Lapus said in appealing for calm and sobriety.

He also said that there was a need to further intensify the information drive being done in public schools nationwide so as to dispel fear and educate the public about the new influenza virus.

"We need to intensify our campaign and educate the school children and parents regarding A/H1N1 virus," Lapus said, adding that DepEd-National Capital Region director Teresita Domalanta was also doing the rounds of schools in Metro Manila. (PIA) [top]

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