Dartmouth schools reporting elevated absenteeism from flu-like symptoms - Metro US

Dartmouth schools reporting elevated absenteeism from flu-like symptoms

Officials at two Dartmouth schools have informed public health officials they’re experiencing elevated absenteeism due to flu-like symptoms.

According to Halifax Regional School Board spokesman Doug Hadley, Astral Drive Junior High saw an absenteeism rate of 28 per cent, or 157 students, on Thursday. Eric Graves Junior High claimed a high rate of 22 per cent, or 48 students, on Wednesday.

“Anecdotally, the schools are hearing from parents that students are displaying flu-like systems,” Hadley said Thursday. “But we don’t know if it’s H1N1, the schools just reported it to public health for their knowledge and investigation.”

Hadley said it is encouraging that parents are following the school board’s recommendation to keep students at home if they display symptoms, adding both schools will remain open unless otherwise advised from health officials.

“We take those reports and compile them with the rest of the information we know about where H1N1 is,” said John Gillis, spokesman for Capital District Health Authority. “As we’re in a pandemic situation, we’re not going to be able to respond to individual outbreaks or rumoured outbreaks. But I can’t talk any specifics about what we may have heard (on Thursday).”

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