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Jun 3, 2009 12:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Two confirmed cases of swine flu at Eastport South Manor High School

Jun 3, 2009 12:14 PM

Eastport South Manor School District officials confirmed Tuesday that two students attending the junior-senior high school had been infected with the H1N1 Influenza A virus, more commonly known as the swine flu.

The two unidentified students, who school officials said are not related, have since recovered from the virus and are already back in school, according to Eastport South Manor Superintendent Mark Nocero.

“The cases were very mild,” Mr. Nocero said on Tuesday, adding that no one knows how the two students contracted the potentially deadly virus.

The district has no immediate plans to close the high school, or any other school in the district, according to a press release issued by Mr. Nocero on Monday. The New York State Department of Health does not recommend the closing of a school unless such an outbreak would cause excessive absences.

The superintendent’s office alerted parents about the two cases, either via phone call or e-mail, on Monday afternoon. The two cases are the only reported infections at ESM, and Mr. Nocero said there are no other suspected cases in the district. The superintendent added that school officials did not learn about the two cases until they were notified on Monday by the Suffolk County Department of Health.

Mr. Nocero advised students exhibiting flu-like symptoms to stay home from school to prevent the potential spread of the illness. He added that custodial staff members would disinfect all desks and other surfaces in all of the district’s schools. The superintendent explained that the district has a sanitizing machine that sprays a mist of cleaning fluid and is able to disinfect an entire classroom at once.

“We’ve been in touch with the bus company to make sure they’ll be taking similar precautions,” Mr. Nocero added.

According to the New York State Department of Health’s website, there have been 780 confirmed cases of swine flu in the state—including 50 in Suffolk County alone—as of June 2. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services reported that all of the swine flu cases in the county have been mild, and that the infected are either recovering or fully recovered. Two people in the state have died from the virus, according to published reports.

Parent Susan Sineo, whose 9-year-old daughter Giovanna attends the Dayton Avenue School in Manorville, said she has no plans to withdraw her daughter from school, or prevent her from participating in any extracurricular activities. She added that she has faith that district officials will take the proper precautions and disinfect the school buildings in order to protect the other students.

“I am a concerned parent, but I don’t want to be a hysterical parent,” said Ms. Sineo, who is a member of ESM’s Health and Wellness Committee.

Mr. Nocero explained that the district would be monitoring the situation and is taking all the proper steps as suggested by the New York State Department of Health.

Officials with the Westhampton Beach School District, which borders the ESM district, and the Hampton Bays School District said they have no reported swine flu cases in their respective districts.

Humayun J. Chaudhry, the commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, stated in a press released issued on Friday that a Hampton Bays resident, who is not a student in that school district, has also been infected with the virus. The county did not identify the individual or list his profession.

Representatives from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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It's a good thing those Mastic kids don't go to WHB anymore!
By WHBinManhattan (47), Manhattan/Westhampton on Jun 3, 09 12:56 PM
Are you kidding me WHBinManhattan??????? I think its a good thing those Manorville kids don't go to WHB anymore! Not only are the kids all on drugs you've got the staff selling it too. Read the paper, it's another arrest every other week. What an ignorant person you must be to make a comment like that!!! It's people like you that make me glad my child went to ESM instead of WHB because your mentally is common among you weekend rich white trash posers that look down on anyone not living in WHB. Maybe ...more
By EMO-ESM (1), East Moriches on Jun 4, 09 9:49 AM
looks like you hit quite a nerve WHB
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Jun 4, 09 11:01 AM
Wow that was pretty ignorant WHB, shame on you!
By Lahleas (12), Southampton on Jun 4, 09 6:47 PM