Five people infected with influenza A (H1N1) died Monday, the highest daily report of casualties from the fast-spreading pandemic.
Two handicapped children ― a nine-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl ― died while being treated for H1N1. Autopsies are being conducted to determine whether they died of the new flu or other causes.
According to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, the deaths of three more people ― a 14-year-old middle school student and two women in their 70s were confirmed to be flu-related.
The article continues with an alarming number:
The ministry is considering shutting schools temporarily to contain any rapid transmission, as more than 41,500 students in 870 schools nationwide have been infected with the flu virus, as the rate of transmission has been growing fast.
On Oct. 22, there were 1,109 people confirmed with the flu in Seoul alone. ``There are so many students infected with the disease, even I am scared of the flu,'' said an elementary school teacher in southern Seoul.
Masks are common in some classes.
Some schools have been cancelling classes; says Burndog:
My school has cancelled classes today and tomorrow. We have about 40 kids down, and 3 teachers. An elementary aged child died at a nearby school last week, so everyone's a bit upset and worried.
In my school of 950 there were 130 absent with flu-like symptoms today.
As far as I know we'll have school tomorrow but afterschool classes are cancelled & the speech contest at the end of the week is in jeopardy. Curiously, some of my classes are at full strength & others are decimated. I just plan ahead as normal & what will happen will happen.
That's nothing new, because I've read on Dave's and Facebook of teachers with reduced schedules because of cancelled classes. Here's a thread started on the 22nd, "Is the flu spreading like crazy at your school?"; from original poster xCustomx:
This week the flu is starting to spread all over. Today there are about 4-6 students absent in every class, and more went home after lunch. There was a line of about 15-20 students at the nurse office during lunch and students are constantly coughing in class. I imagine this is only going to get worse as it gets colder and more people are infected.
According to my co-teacher, yesterday we had 80 students absent - 7 of whom have been diagnosed with swine flu.
Today the Principal instructed all teachers to have classroom windows open so that any dirty germs will 'fly away' rather than linger and infect.
It was freeeeezing.
My school has been closed since tuesday, right when I started to get sick. don't think it is swine flue as different symptoms (extreme tirdness, hacking cough and a very fuzzy head). we had 16 kids in one class absent with swine flue like symptoms.
Today at my school in Yongin there was an announcement that 3 or 4 students possibly have it. About 5 mins later, a couple guys with a hose came in, evacuated the classrooms and sprayed some fog in the classes. We were told we could return in 10 mins. Come back and have to breathe in that crap for another hour. Everyone was coughing and had a dry throat from that fog. Told my co-teacher they need to spray the students, not the rooms. Shortly thereafter, several students took off and returned with masks from the nurses office.
Was called yesterday and told not to come in for a week. School is closed. 25 confirmed cases of H1N1 as of yesterday. Could be more as of today. Crazy! Poor kids too. Just finished all of the stress of midterms and now they are sick. I did love sleeping in and staying in my pj's all day though today.
And xCustomx again:
This is insane. The VP is going around passing out masks and telling all teachers they are required to wear them. I'm the only one he hasn't given one to.
Well, there's a lot there, so just read those two threads on your own. Though schools are taking preventative measures, and have as a result of swine flu finally started encouraging people to wash their hands, I still get coughed on every day by students and teachers who come to work sick. Nonetheless just as the "regular" flu spreads quickly each winter, so too will this new one, and preventative measures should still be maintained.
The Herald says today:
Nearly 30,000 patients infected with the H1N1, a subtype of influenza A, were newly confirmed last week, with the nation's first round of vaccinations scheduled to start today.