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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Sick children should not return to school next week but should be kept at home until they have recovered from the flu, the AMA (WA) warned today.
“The flu strain that has affected thousands of people over the last few weeks is extremely serious. Currently the signs are it will get worse before it gets better,” AMA (WA) President Richard Choong said.
“As a parent in a two-job family, I know how difficult it will be for some parents to keep a sick child at home. But sending them to school will guarantee a further fuelling of the epidemic. We cannot play Russian roulette here.
“People have already died and we need to do all we can as a community to stop this strain spreading further. Our message is therefore clear – parents MUST NOT send their sick children to school,” Dr Choong said.
The AMA (WA) also called for each school classroom to have hand sanitisers and for teachers to encourage children to use them.
“Schools can be breeding grounds for infections and influenza can spread like wildfire.”
The AMA (WA) also called on the Health Department and the Education Department to draw up a clear and concise action plan to tackle the flu situation.
“Yesterday is too late. There have been 1638 cases of confirmed influenza infection to date in WA with eight deaths reported among these cases.”
“It is very early in the season to have such a spike in cases,” Dr Choong said, adding it was not too late for any member of the community to have a flu shot