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A/H1N1 cases in Laos rise up to 31 !!!
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Private school closes to control the spread of H1N1 virus



A private school in Vientiane 's Sisattanak district for more than a week as a way to control the spread of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus.


The school closure was made after two more children at the school were identified with the virus, bringing the total number of detection cases at the school to 5.

Both students previously found with the virus have since transmitted it to one family member respectively.

These cases bring the total number in Laos to 31, of which 21 are in the capital.

The school, which boasts 800 students, should be re-opened on July 27.

The class that included the first child to be found with the virus has already been suspended for a week.

This coming Saturday, health and education officials will meet with parents whose children are studying at the private school.

Parents would be urged to monitor their children's health at home and report to officials about the situation.

The World Health Organisation says it was important to ensure children stayed at home and avoided areas with a high-risk of virus transmission.

Most agreed that the school must be washed or cleaned during its closure.

Head of National Emerging Infectious Disease Coordination Office Head Dr Bounlay Phommasack said the school closure aimed to respond to the virus outbreaks in a timely fashion, rather than waiting for more cases to close the school.

However, the government has no plans to close all schools in Vientiane or the provinces. Any closures would take place based on an area-by-area assessment.

This would ensure that the public was not unduly alarmed. Instead, it would urge greater cooperation with parents.

It would close only those schools that were believed to hold a greater risk of the virus spreading.

Some officials said clear information through the media was important to avoid unsubstantiated rumours that could cause misunderstanding in the public.

Government officials also had plans to meet with parents whose children were studying at private schools to give them information about H1N1.

Private schools were chosen as it was often those families that had the financial capability to take children to travel abroad, putting them at greater risk.

Dr Bounlay said there was no restriction on travel, but parents should have correct information in mind to protect themselves from the virus.

Yesterday, authorities from Vientiane in Laos and Nongkhai province in Thailand met and agreed to cooperate on surveillance and responses to the virus along their shared border.

Officials from both sides would launch a project to create capacity for officials as well as link their information to jointly respond to the virus.

The new project will be supported by Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance, aiming to stop the virus from spreading to rural communities in Laos and Thailand .

Dr Bounlay handed over the project responsibility to Vientiane Health Department Dr Inlavanh Keobounphanh on behalf of the government.

The health department is working in cooperation with Thai authorities.

 

By Times Reporters



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