Kentucky officials seeing more Swine Flu - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Kentucky officials seeing more Swine Flu

By Stuart Peck - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

KENTUCKY (WFIE) - In Western Kentucky, health officials are seeing more confirmed cases of Swine Flu, and they believe even more unconfirmed cases are out there.  

The Green River Health Department is saying a lot of those unconfirmed cases could be within the school systems.

The health department in Owensboro is seeing activity from all the districts in their seven county coverage area.

Those on the front lines of the H1N1 fight in the schools are the school nurses.

Wendi Morgan is the school nurse at Country Heights Elementary School in Daviess County.

She sees students every day with a variety of ailments, and now H1N1 could be in the mix.

"I think it's just unknown right now," Morgan said. "We don't know exactly how it's going to hit, and that's the biggest thing with the prevention, is just making people aware of the symptoms, staying home if you are sick."

Nine confirmed cases of H1N1 have been reported in the Green River district, six in Daviess County, two in Union and one in Ohio County.

Still, there could be far more unconfirmed.

"We know we're seeing it in the schools, and our state lab said that every influenza case we're seeing in Kentucky right now is H1N1, so if they've been diagnosed with the flu, it's H1N1," Janie Cambron with the Green River District Health Department said.

Even though a lot of school districts across Western Kentucky are reporting cases of students with flu-like symptoms, a lot of those cases will actually go unconfirmed as actual H1N1 cases because of new testing procedures at the Centers for Disease Control.

And school nurses are outnumbered, making the fight even more difficult against Swine Flu.

A study released by the National Association of School Nurses said there is one school nurse for every 1,800 students on average in Kentucky.

Morgan said schools are doing the best they can.

"Every year we do strive to better that ratio," Morgan said. "That's something that has to do with funding."

The recommended number of students for every nurse in that study is 750, so schools all over Kentucky have a long way to go.

If you'd like more information on Swine Flu, and how to combat it, click here.

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