EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Tuesday, we learned an East Texas child died at a Dallas hospital in the last 24 hours. He was a 9-year-old boy who went to Jack Elementary in Tyler.
Doctors are not confirming the boy had the H1N1 flu virus, but a doctor with the health district told us there is a 90% chance the child had H1N1. They did confirm it is a pediatric flu related death, and that the child had other underlying diseases.
"This particular child did have some other co-morbidities which means the child had some other illnesses and put the child in a higher risk category," explained Dr. Jonathan MacClements, a Smith County Health Authority. "We are aware children with asthma or chronic illnesses are at higher risks for getting H1N1 complications."
On Thursday at 6:30pm in the Jack Elementary Cafetoriam, there will be a meeting where parents can ask question to health and Tyler ISD officials.
We've also learned an outbreak of the flu forced a couple of east Texas school districts to cancel classes. Twenty-four percent of students at Newton ISD stayed home Monday because of flu-like symptoms. Newton is in southeast Texas, close to the Louisiana border. The district reopens again on Friday. In the northern communities of Poynor and Larue, the La Poynor School District canceled classes for the rest of the week, because of students missing with flu like symptoms.
The following is the letter sent to parents from Jack Elementary School Principal Shauna Hittle:
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Tyler ISD is sad to report that a student at Jack Elementary has passed away due to an influenza associated death. Our thought and prayers are with the family as they go through this difficult time.
The child had underlying medical conditions and significant respiratory issues. The case has been confirmed as H1N1. We are working with local and state health officials to monitor the situation, and at this time, schools will remain open and operating normally.
The best way to reduce the spread of H1N1 or any other virus is to practice good hygiene, and we encourage you to teach your children to wash their hands often, keep their hands away from their eyes, nose, and mouth, and cover coughs and sneezes with their sleeve or a tissue. For more prevention tips, visit www.texasflu.org or www.tylerisd.org
Please keep your child home from school if he or she shows any flu symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, and contact your health care provider and the school immediately.
Students who are ill should stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
Let me assure you that the health and well being of our students is my top priority, and we are doing everything possible to address the situation. As a precaution, since the start of school, Tyler ISD has implemented aggressive sanitation measures at all campuses. District staff members are frequently disinfecting common areas, such as hallways, lockers, door knobs, and hand rails with a germicidal. As another precaution, Tyler ISD is also using this same germicidal spray to disinfect the interior of the school buses on a daily basis.
We are inviting our parents to an informational meeting with representatives from the District and the Northeast Texas Public Health District Thursday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jack Elementary Cafetorium.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.