With more than 100 students sick at school, find out how to avoid illness

Toronto Public Health has declared a COVID-19 epidemic in an outbreak of respiratory illnesses affecting TDSB students. Health officials say 105 students in three Toronto District School Board schools have fallen ill with COVID-19…

With more than 100 students sick at school, find out how to avoid illness

Toronto Public Health has declared a COVID-19 epidemic in an outbreak of respiratory illnesses affecting TDSB students.

Health officials say 105 students in three Toronto District School Board schools have fallen ill with COVID-19 during the past week.

This outbreak of non-serious upper respiratory illness is based on a new method of categorizing cases of illness that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is using to monitor larger outbreaks.

Related Image Expand / Contract The TDSB has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at three schools. (Source: Google Earth)

Toronto Public Health chief medical officer of health Dr. Hélène Campbell calls COVID-19 “the newest single seasonal influenza identification tool.”

“COVID-19 is not a vaccine for influenza, but is a disease identifier,” she added.

This identification method tracks the relationship between childhood influenza epidemics and confirmed cases of seasonal influenza in older children and adults.

Related Image Expand / Contract The TDSB has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at three schools. (Source: Google Earth)

“The COVID-19 index is the epidemiological equivalent of a flu index, which is an aggregated measure of influenza (or other respiratory disease) prevalence in a geographic location,” health officials explained.

The index shows where the number of newly reported cases is higher than what is normally seen.

Twenty-seven students at Townley Centre Elementary School and 17 students at Clinton School have reported COVID-19 symptoms. Twenty-one of those students have been released from school and treated at home.

Two students from adjacent schools, Clinton Road and Knoxway have also been treated at home.

“We recommend that health care providers stop testing for COVID-19 in anyone who appears healthy,” added Campbell.

Ominously, an Ontario government website on the COVID-19 index warns that the index is not a prediction system of how many cases of seasonal influenza will emerge this winter, nor does it indicate where or when an outbreak will occur.

OCVID-19 research concluded that children appear to be most susceptible to the syndrome since their bodies, according to the research, have not yet developed the immune response to prevent the disease.

The research by researchers at the University of Manitoba indicated that children under the age of one are most likely to encounter the illness, and older children are less at risk.

Coincidentally, the announcement of COVID-19 in the TDSB struck the nerve of a man who publicly released details of his attempt to fight back against the seasonal flu at the University of Manitoba.

Related Image Expand / Contract Dean Letts said he believes his lack of vaccination led to his COVID-19. (Source: Dave Martin/Planet SNIKI)

Dean Letts wrote on an open Facebook page about how he was unable to complete his Grade 7 lesson last fall, because he was struck down with the flu.

While Letts believed he was struck down by the flu, Letts said he later learned the cause of his illness was a bacterial infection known as C difficile.

What Letts told his fellow students remained in a confidential piece of teaching software known as Snikipedia, a subreddit page devoted to all sorts of places the flu attacks.

He believed his lack of vaccination caused his illness.

“I do not get vaccines and sometimes I cannot believe I am infected. I feel like my mind is the only one that is working,” Letts wrote on the Snikipedia page, which now shows Letts as a “plague survivor.”

“I have skin sore throats, a toxic sting on my neck and horrible diarrhea,” Letts told Metro News. “It feels so, so far away.”

He lamented that his science teacher did not attend his court appearance for cv-19 because his colleague’s mother was there for him.

By the time his teacher returned to the classroom, the C diff was in his system, causing his temperature to reach up to 104 degrees.

The back-to-back infections left Letts in tears, unable to eat or drink.

“I could hardly speak,” he said. “I felt like I was still in hospital, and when I got up from my chair, I could barely stand.”

Despite being healthy from his walk home from school, Letts developed pneumonia a day later.

More than a year later, he has

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