Explorer staff reports

Six positive cases of A/H1N1 influenza, including one in Marana, have been confirmed in Pima County, according to a Sunday release from the Pima County Health Department.

A student who attends Tortolita Middle School tested positive for the virus, the Marana Unified School District reported Sunday. "The student has fully recovered and is anticipated to return to school on Monday," the release said.

Pima County Health Department staff has been in contact with representatives of city governments and school districts. Health officials have not recommended school closures. As a result, all schools in the Marana Unified School District, including Tortolita Middle School, remain open and are operating on a regular school day calendar.

In addition to the Marana case, four county cases are among individuals who live on the Tohono O'Odham Nation's reservation, and the other is in a Tucson resident. None of the patients required hospitalization, and all have either recovered or are continuing to recover, the release said.

MUSD plans to monitor student absences "to identify trends and ensure early detection and prompt medical evaluation of any suspected cases of flu," district spokeswoman Tamara Crawley said.

School officials ask people to watch for flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, headache, chills, and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea are also possible. According to the health department, swine flu "appears no worse than the regular seasonal flu."

MUSD procedures require a student experiencing a fever of 101 F or over, diarrhea, or vomiting to be symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school. Parents are encouraged to contact their doctor if they are concerned about their child's symptoms or suspect they may have the flu.

What to do

Wash hands frequently.

Stay home if you are sick.

Keep your children home if they are sick.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after it is used.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

Make a plan, and call your doctor, urgent care center or community health center before going in to be seen. Emergency rooms are for emergencies, so before you go, call first.

For Twitter alerts, log on to www.pimahealth.org or see the Web site for further information. Go to www.myalerts.mystateusa.com to register for emergency messages and other vital public safety information. This is free service.

How to get information

The Pima County Health Department has set up an informational call center for residents who have questions regarding the A/H1N1, or swine flu, virus.

By phone: 243-7808, or toll-free 1-866-939-7462, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

By the Web: Visit the Pima County Health Department web site at http://www.pimahealth.org or call (520) 243-7797; Arizona Hotline for residents with questions, 1-800-352-3792.

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