H1N1 Virus: Parent meeting at Gregory Elm.

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

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Gregory Elementary held a question and answer session Monday night for parents to voice their concerns about the H1N1 virus.

Four cases were confirmed in New Hanover County last week, and now parents are searching for answers on how testing works and are concerned their children are in danger.

Parents were given the chance to ask questions to a panel of health department officials, school officials, and medical professionals during Monday's meeting.

Many parents questioned why they weren't notified earlier and why the schools remained open, and some parents weren't happy with the responses.

"I just didn't feel like the questions were really being answered or addressed," said Rosalyn Spencer.  "The issue really wasn't being addressed like it should."

Spencer said she kept her two daughters home from Snipes Academy Friday and Monday, and said she probably won't send them back for the remainder of the school year.

Some parents say they were happy with the meeting.

"There was a lot of misconception out there, so having this meeting I think cleared up a lot of those," said Becky Loding who sent her daughter to school both Friday and Monday.

New Hanover County Health Department Director David Rice said the schools and health department are taking the cases of H1N1 very seriously, but the investigation into the virus will take time.

"I was very proud of parents showing up and sharing their concerns," said Rice.  "Hopefully we answered those for them."

Health officials want to stress that only the state lab and the CDC can confirm cases of the H1N1 virus.

School officials hope students won't miss out on the last week of classes, but say they will not actively penalize students who are kept home by concerned parents.

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