More Cases Of Swine Flu Found In Tulsa

Saturday, May 9th 2009, 4:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Two more cases of swine flu have been found in Tulsa.

Two young children who attend Union's Anderson Elementary experienced flu-like symptoms, sought medical treatment and have recovered without hospitalization.

The number of Tulsa County cases has jumped from one to three, and all are linked to Tulsa elementary schools.

On Friday, Tulsa Public Schools announced an employee at Jackson Elementary was the first case of swine flu in the county. The woman has since recovered, and a custodial crew worked to disinfect the school Saturday.

In light of the spike in swine flu cases, TPS Superintendent Keith Ballard says he's taking "extreme cautionary measures" to disinfect every school.

Custodians are hoping they spray, mop or scrub away any chance that it gets any worse.

The employee at Jackson Elementary was tested for the virus eight days ago, and she spent most of last week at home before returning to work Friday.

"I always think about keeping my kids safe, whether its a common cold or a cough, we always keep the kids safety in mind," said Tasha Johnson, Jackson Elementary principal.

Ballard says the employee regularly comes in contact with students but would not confirm whether she is a teacher, even to the students' parents.

Johnson agrees with the decision.

"The role of the person is really insignificant," she said. "The point is that it's a Jackson employee, and we would do this no matter what role the person fulfilled."

The employee has not been to Mexico and hasn't left Tulsa County in recent weeks.

Ballard says the H1N1 virus stays alive on surfaces for two to eight hours, but they're taking every possible precaution.

At Jackson Elementary, anything a student can get his or her hands on is being wiped down, from all the mats and the toys, to the desks and chairs, even the water fountains and the lockers.

Jackson has 260 students, and the principal says they have nothing to fear come Monday morning.

On Monday, Ballard, Johnson and the director of health services will be at the school to answer parents' questions.