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With nosuspected or confirmed cases of swine flu in the Santa Clarita Valley, residents are encouraged to maintain preventive practices such as washing their hands, staying home if they or their children feel sick and limiting contact with those who may have symptoms of the flu.

As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the California Department of Public Health reports that there are 16 confirmed cases of swine flu in California with 7 cases in San Diego County, 5 in Imperial County, 2 in Marin County and 1 each in Sacramento and San Bernardino Counties.

There are 23 probable cases being tested; 8 in San Diego County, 4 each in Riverside and Santa Clara Counties, 3 in Sacramento County and 1 each in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and Tulare Counties.

The state offers the following flu prevention tips:

(1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

(2) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

(3) Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

(4) If you get sick with flu, it is recommended that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

City officials are monitoring county and state health agencies and are posting current information on their website here . James Gibson, Superintendent of the Castaic Union School District, shared the following information with KHTS, a copy of which was sent out to all parents with children in their district.

There have been many rumors and false reports circulating throughout our community about cases of the “swine” flu in Castaic and the Santa Clarita Valley. Let me state for the record that as of this communication there have been no reported, discovered or experienced cases of the “Swine” Flu in either Castaic or Santa Clarita!

Furthermore, our District has experienced an abnormally high number of sick children with flu-like symptoms. Due to this large number of sick children in the district, particularly at Northlake Hills Elementary School, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department sent physicians and nurses to the District to ask the parents of sick children to voluntarily bring their child to Northlake Hills ES and be “swabbed” to determine the cause of their child’s illness. I am pleased to report that over 40 parents assisted with this process and all the children tested were negative for the “swine” flu, now called “N1H1,” most were suffering from “bad” colds and other minor respiratory illnesses, and a smaller number were suffering from Influenza “B” or the more common “Flu.” Today letters were sent out with our students to help explain this event.

To help prevent continued sickness, the custodial staffs at the schools have been engaged in extra cleaning including disinfecting many surfaces (tables, counters, restrooms, door handles, chairs and counter tops). This extra cleaning occurs at night and as often as is possible in the day.

Next, I am pleased to announce that the LA County Public Health Department will be offering a FREE Flu Shot Clinic for Castaic children and community members at Castaic Middle School, in the gymnasium, on Wednesday, May 6, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.2:00 pm. This is necessary to secure the number of flu shot dosages needed for next week. ( Registration forms were sent home with every child on Thursday, April 30.)  Please watch for these documents for important information and forms. Forms will also be available at the schools tomorrow afternoon as well. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this offer must complete and return the forms by Friday at

And finally, please help us by reminding your children to:
1. Cover their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze;
2. Wash their hands thoroughly and frequently;
3. Please do not send your children to school if they are symptomatic of flu or other
contagious diseases. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and muscle pain.

KHTS AM-1220 will stay up to date with information on swine flu; updates will be posted as they become available on

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