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Post Info TOPIC: H1N1 Influenza at Morris Hills

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H1N1 Influenza at Morris Hills

May 21, 2009

Dear Parent/Guardian,

On May 21 2009, the Morris County Office of Health management notified us that 4 students at Morris Hills High School have tested probable for H1N1 Influenza A. We expect confirmation of the tests at the earliest Friday, May 22, 2009.

These students have been recovering at home since May 15, 2009 with relatively mild influenza symptoms and are being cared for by their physicians. Morris County and local health officials are not recommending that the Morris Hills High School close. The school was already scheduled to be closed on May 22, 2009 for a long Memorial Day weekend. The school will open as planned on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.

Our school administration continues to work closely with our local health departments to monitor for new cases. As a precaution our school will be implementing infection control procedures recommended by our county and local health officials.

Students and staff with influenza-like symptoms (fever with cough and/or sore throat) must stay home and not report to school. Parents/staff should report any of these symptoms when reporting absence. Our local health departments will be contacting staff and/or parents of students with flu like symptoms to collect additional information and to arrange for specimen collection as needed. Student/staff with influenza-like illness should remain home for at least 7 days after illness onset, or 24 hours after all symptoms disappear, whichever is longer.

The schools custodial staff will conduct daily cleaning of high touch surfaces such as desktops, banisters and door handles.

Good hygiene practices both at home and school will help reduce the risk of infection:

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; put the used tissue in a waste basket and wash your hands.
Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Use soap and want and wash your hands for 20 seconds; or
Use an alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) or alcohol-based hand wipes; rub these on the hands until the liquid or gel dries.

Your cooperation is important to the success of these measures. Please keep your children at home if they are ill and report all symptoms of illness when reporting an absence.

Our local health departments and the Morris County Office of Health Management have advised us that schools will not need to close if a case of H1N1 Influenza A is identified in a school. The CDC has advised that in general, closing schools for cases of H1N1 Influenza is no longer effective as the virus spreads through the U.S. The mild nature of the disease suggests it should be treated as we would treat any other influenza.

Any future decision that may lead to school closure will be made jointly by our local health departments and our School Superintendent after consulting with County and State Public Health Officials

For the most current information visit the Morris County Office of Health Management website at or the Centers for Disease Control website at

Please contact the School Office at 973 664 2291 or your local health department if you have any questions.

Our School Administration is working with our local and county public health officials to minimize the risk to you and your children.


Dr. Ernest Palestis
Morris Hills Superintendent of Schools

Diane Trocchio
Rockaway Township Health Department

James Norgalis
Denville Township Health Department

Mark Caputo
Randolph Township Health Department

This message is posted to the "All Opinions are Welcome, but Sorry no Instigators" Internet Forum. Reproduction of this post on any other website is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the author.

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Posts: 472

Those kids have been home ill with this since 5/15 (a week ago).

We got the call that they were probably swine 5/21 (last night).

Testing was confirmed 5/22 (this morning).

Clearly, in my mind, they put off "alarming" parents about the potential threat amongst our kids, until it was a moot point (they're off today and monday anyway school is missed).

I'll be interested to see how many more wind up ill next week...

-- Edited by karen on Friday 22nd of May 2009 12:30:56 PM

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