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Friday, April 18, 2014
Rockville Centre hospitals see influenza spike
(Page 2 of 3)

“We are experiencing the worst flu season since at least 2009 and influenza activity in New York State is widespread, with cases reported in all 57 counties and all five boroughs of New York City,” Cuomo said. “Therefore, I have directed my administration, the State Health Department and others to marshal all needed resources to address this public health emergency and remove all barriers to ensure that all New Yorkers — children and adults alike — have access to critically needed flu vaccines.”

Tara M. Algerio-Vento, the Rockville Centre school district family nurse practitioner, said that the students have not had flu incidents in any significant amounts and that the cases have been scattered throughout the classes and schools.

“There are the same numbers that we would have consistently because it is winter,” Algerio-Vento said. “We do have some flu-like incidents but nothing that has been causing clusters, which we keep an eye on.”

The school district keeps track of clusters of students who have confirmed cases of the flu, Algerio-Vento explained, to see if the virus is spreading.

Custodians clean the district schools once a day, but once the first case of flu is confirmed, the custodians go around opening windows to aerate the schools and cleaning the desk surfaces and walls with cleaning agents approved by the CDC. Algerio-Vento said that this year, the first confirmed case of the flu among the students and staff was reported in late December, just before Christmas vacation.

She said that if clusters of influenza outbreaks are seen, or if someone is hospitalized with a case of the flu, the district will send out notifications to the parents.

Algerio-Vento also said that the school promotes the importance of flu vaccines in September, and that the entire staff is inoculated to the virus in October. She added that recently cases of the flu have been seen even in the summer, but that the flu season generally begins to slow down around March.

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