There are no suspicions of the Novel H1N1 virus or swine flu, in Madison County schools, but that does not mean that staff are not looking out for the symptoms.

“We feel like the case in Madison County is isolated,” said Erin Stewart, program coordinator for Madison County schools. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”

Stewart was referring to news released last week about Madison County’s first case of the virus in an adult male. The person was treated and released Thursday from Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center and is at home recovering, according to news releases from the medical center and the Madison County Health Department.

If a child presents a fever and cough or sore throat, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests they stay home for seven days or until their symptoms subside, whichever is longer, Stewart said.

Stewart also warns parents to make sure their child’s attendance clerk gives them an excused absence.

The first New York City death caused by the virus recently was reported. He was a high school assistant principal and had been sick for nearly a week before his school was closed on Thursday.

A wave of new confirmations sends the number of swine flu cases in Japan soaring to 135, health officials say, prompting the government to order the closure of nearly 2,000 schools and the cancellation of community events.

Key developments about swine flu outbreaks released Monday by the CDC, World Health Organization and government officials confirmed 76 deaths around the world: 68 in Mexico; six in the U.S.; one in Canada; and one in Costa Rica.

Officials said victims from Canada, the U.S. and Costa Rica also had other medical conditions.

Forty countries have reported more than 8,829 confirmed cases, mostly in the U.S. and Mexico.

The CDC reports that 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have combined 5,123 confirmed and probable cases. Most probable cases are eventually confirmed, experts say.

Becky Carr, Madison County’s district nurse coordinator, has touched base with all school nurses in the county to make sure that they keep a constant watch out for Novel H1N1 virus symptoms.

Carr will be making sure that the schools are following any and all regulations passed along from CDC and giving her daily updates, Stewart said.

For more CDC recommendations about the spread and prevention of the Novel H1N1 virus, visit

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 624-6608.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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