State

Swine flu shows no favoritism

The swine flu has sickened everyone from schoolchildren to seniors in Stanislaus County, including 12 people who required hospitalization.

Since the first case was reported in June, county health officials have recorded 29 cases of H1N1 influenza and believe more county residents have endured the symptoms without seeking medical attention.

A 21-year-old Ceres woman died from complications of the illness July 1.

This week, school officials notified parents that a student at Enochs High School in Modesto attending summer classes was sick with H1N1 influenza.

The student, in a special education class, became ill last week and was staying home, said Daisy Lee, associate superintendent of Modesto City Schools.

A second Enochs student has flu symptoms but H1N1 influenza was not confirmed. That student was not attending class, Lee said.

The district said it was following public health and state education guidelines in deciding not to cancel the summer school classes.

"Unless it seriously affects the operation of the school, the recommendation is that the classes should continue," Lee said.

The school district advised the parents to take precautions such as washing hands, covering coughs and keeping children at home if they are sick.

The symptoms of the illness are similar to seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some patients have diarrhea and vomiting.

The majority of H1N1 cases are mild to moderate and most people fully recover.

Health experts believe that people with chronic conditions, especially asthma and emphysema, are more prone to becoming severely ill.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or 578-2321.

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