H1N1: Hundreds of students stay home from school

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of students stayed home from school Friday in fear of catching the H1N1 virus.

Thursday, health officials confirmed four cases of the flu in the Wilmington area.  Three cases were at Gregory Elementary and the other was at Snipes Academy.

7-year-olds Christina and Robbie Scott spent their day playing outside and not in a classroom.  Their parents decided it was safer to keep them home from school.

"It's kinda scary because they say Gregory and Snipes, this is a Gregory and Snipes neighborhood so I thought it could be someone at least around the neighborhood we live," said Nikko Scott.  "I'm still worried, but I'm trying to keep them protected the best I can."

Scott said it's the lack of information that worries him the most.

"We don't know what grade they're in, who their teachers are, so I don't know if my kids could have come in contact with it or not," said Scott.

Scott's not alone - 139 students from Gregory and 101 from Snipes stayed home from school Friday, but that's only a little over 20% from each school.

Yvonne Pardo sent both of her daughters to school at Gregory Elementary.

"I don't feel like there would be any basis to be afraid, at this point, from what I understand about this, anymore than I would just my children getting any regular old flu," said Pardo.

Some children said they are trying to be even more cautious.

"I wash my hands and don't do anything nasty," said Robbie.

Robbie's father said he's taking precautions as well.

"I might keep them out until they get a definite number of what's going on or what's going on with the school," said Scott.

New Hanover County School Officials and the Health Department will hold a parent information meeting Monday.  It will be held in the media center and begin at 6:00 in the evening.

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