October 2, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
48°F

Hinckley student has case of H1N1

HINCKLEY TWP. — A student at Hinckley Elementary School has contracted the H1N1 virus.

The case was confirmed Wednesday and the child is recovering at home, said Dawn Marzano, spokeswoman for Highland Local Schools.

In a letter sent to parents Thursday, Superintendent Catherine Ackerman said there are no plans to close any schools.

“Like many other school districts, we anticipated the possibility that some of our students and/or staff might experience this illness since it’s so widespread and highly contagious,” she said in the letter.
Marzano said staff members in each school have taken extra measures to disinfect surfaces and are enforcing proper hygiene procedures such as washing hands.

“Common sense goes a long way,” she said.

Individual cases of H1N1 — also known as swine flu — are not always reported to county health departments, so whether the Hinckley Elementary case was the first in the county is uncertain, said Colleen Rice, community relations specialist for the Medina County Health Department.

Dr. Daniel Raub, Health Department commissioner, said 99 percent of all current flu cases are of the H1N1 variety.

However, he encourages residents to get seasonal flu vaccines so as not to risk getting both kinds of flu in the same season.

The Health Department is sponsoring seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccination clinics around the county.

The pneumonia vaccine is also important to receive because many contract pneumonia while suffering from the flu, Raub said. It is recommended that children younger than age 5, adults older than 65 and others with chronic health problems get the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The next clinics will be Monday at the Medina County University Center, 6300 Technology Lane, Lafayette Township, from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 4 to 7 p.m. at Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital’s Founders Hall, 195 Wadsworth Road.

Seasonal flu vaccines are $25 for county residents and $30 for nonresidents. The pneumonia vaccine is $45 for county residents and $50 for others, but Rice said vaccine manufacturer Merck has a financial assistance program available for those who qualify.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.