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— Flu season has returned with a vengeance.

“We are already well into that time of year,” said Val Colburn, school nurse at Pea Ridge Intermediate School.

The schools have already seen an increased number of students leaving campus due to illness since the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. Regular flu season, according to the Center for Disease Control, usually begins in November and increases, peaking in the mid-winter months of January and February.

“We have four or five a day (students), sometimes more, go home. We have a lot of teachers sick, even Ms. Terry (principal of Pea Ridge Middle School),” said Gail Simpkins, registrar at Pea Ridge Middle School.

The schools are not testing sick students specifically for the H1N1 Influenza A virus, according to Colburn. H1N1 is easier to contract than the common flu virus, but all types of influenza are dangerous.

If students shows flu-like symptoms, they will be tested for any strain of the influenza virus and treated in the same manner: They will be sent home to rest and to avoid contaminating other students and teachers.

People infected with seasonal and H1N1 shed virus that may be able to infect others from one day before getting sick to five to seven days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems and in people infected with H1N1 virus.

Ozark Quilt Fair winners announced

Visitors to the Ozark Quilt Fair at the Shiloh Museum Saturday, Sept. 12, voted on their choices of the best antique and contemporary quilts exhibited.

The winner in the contemporary category was “Mary Jane’s Star” by Marilyn Meek of Springdale. Ruth Beard of Springdale won second with her “Sunny Flower” quilt. Third place was awarded to “6,400 Pieces” by Valerie Doiel of Fayetteville.

In the antique category, a “Red and Green” quilt owned by Nancy Webb of Springdale won first place. Second place went to “State Birds,” an embroidered quilt owned by Ardith Wharry of Fayetteville. Nancy Webb also won third place with a quilt made from Civil Warera quilt blocks.

The Ozark Quilt Fair is an annual event in its 31st year. Prize money was donated by First Security Bank.

News, Pages 7 on 10/07/2009

Print Headline: School battles flu and colds

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