Parents ask for more time to prepare for kids in school
Parents have expressed concern about a spike in cases of pneumonia in their schools and hospital wards, but there’s been little public action.
Health officials said Tuesday that they have identified a cluster of cases at some of the state’s largest hospitals, including the Cumberland County Hospital in Rockingham and the University of Vermont Medical Center.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a story Wednesday saying that patients with pneumonia were being seen by doctors at a high rate.
The hospital where the cases were reported had no data on who was receiving treatment.
But there is little evidence to suggest that the pneumonia has anything to do with a rise in the number of students leaving class at Cumberland and other Vermont schools this year, said Dr. Jeffrey Miller, a medical officer with the Vermont Department of Health.
He said the outbreak of pneumonia appears to be linked to a spike this fall in the amount of time students spend in school.
We’re seeing a significant increase in cases this fall, but we’re also seeing a decrease in the use of antibiotics and the use, the number and the frequency of the vaccines that students are getting, he said.
Miller said it’s not clear yet whether the spike is linked to the rise in students leaving school.
It may be that students were being more vigilant this fall and more likely to go to the hospital when they had an illness, he added.
It is too soon to tell, he suggested.
“There’s a lot of things that we need to look at to make sure that we’re not seeing a spike, but I don’t think we’re seeing the spike that we’ve been seeing.”
Miller said he had seen no spike in infections in his hospitals this fall.
Vermont Public Health Department spokesman Chris Tompkins said that he has not seen any cases of the disease linked to school attendance.
But he said there have been reports of students taking their inhalers with them, and some have reported that they’ve been coughing, which could lead to pneumonia.
He said he’s not sure if the state is seeing a trend in the numbers of people taking their asthma medication at the hospital.
The state has also been able to provide the state with a list of schools that are currently closed.
In a statement, Gov.
Peter Shumlin said the governor is closely monitoring the situation.
I’ve directed my Health Department to conduct a review of the school closures, and we will work with all of our schools to ensure they are safe for students and staff.
While this is an epidemic that has affected many of our students and families, the state of Vermont will not allow the state to lose sight of its purpose.
We will be working hard to make the most of every student’s time at school and make sure every student has the chance to be healthy and safe.
Earlier: Vanderbilt student dies after being diagnosed with pneumonia at Cumberlands hospital, hospital spokeswoman says article Vanderbilt University students who had been on campus were in a critical condition Tuesday after they were hospitalized because of a case of pneumonia, the university said.
The school announced that two Vanderbilt students had been admitted to Vanderbilt Medical Center with pneumonia on Tuesday morning, two days after a student in the same nursing program was diagnosed with the disease at a Vanderbilt-owned hospital.
Both Vanderbilt students are in stable condition, Vanderbilt spokeswoman Kristi Baker said.
Baker said the Vanderbilt Medical Facility has since closed.
The Vanderbilt Medical Centers was closed last week for its own investigation of the pneumonia case, Baker said in a statement.