Updated: Thursday, 15 Oct 2009, 5:47 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 15 Oct 2009, 5:47 PM EDT
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - WAVY.com is getting answers to our reader's H1N1 questions.
Peninsula mom Ruth Anthony told WAVY.com she is so scared of the flu she yanked her three kids out of school. Her family is not alone in its concern.
Parents are calling Ten On Your Side and sending email questions by the dozens to WAVY.com. Many are reporting cases of swine flu.
St. Matthews school in Virginia Beach closed Thursday because 80 students were out earlier in the week. Some parents are asking how many students have to get sick before their school closes?
"There's no magic number," said Dr. David Trump, Peninsula Health Director who tracks school absences daily.
We asked him what the Virginia Department of Health is advising schools to do. "What we're trying to do is slow down the spread but not disrupt the schools or the child's education," he said.
Dr. Trump says they don't advise closing schools to control illness because it doesn't work. It's recommended when there aren't enough students or staff to run the programs.
Ruth Anthony said, "Last letter I got was three confirmed cases. Last I heard from somebody today it was 12 now." That's why she pulled out her kids, so that they could get the H1N1 vaccine.
Dr. Trump says all parents should consider getting the vaccine and demand good hygiene, like covering coughs and sneezes in your arm. He says that is good protection.
WAVY.com also learned that it appears people are heeding health experts' warnings and staying home when they're sick, but it's not known how many have H1N1 and how many are out for other illnesses or other reasons.
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