Swine flu shuts down Gaulim Teachers College

National, Normal


THE Gaulim Teachers College in East New Britain has been placed under quarantine after two students were confirmed positive with A(H1N1) Influenza virus.
The college administration, located in the Gazelle district, alerted the health office in Kokopo last Thursday about 107 students, mostly females, suffering from symptoms of seasonal flu, chest pains and diarrhoea.
Reports from the Provincial Disaster Committee said a health team comprising of two specialist doctors from the Nonga Hospital and health officers were dispatched to the area the same day and randomly tested 11 students resulting in a male student testing positive in rapid kit test.
Last Friday, the health team tested four students and one female student tested positive using the rapid test kit.
Tests were again conducted on Saturday and about 50 students with results still pending.
Swabs were also taken and sent to Australia for further tests.
The provincial disaster committee is treating this as very serious and doctors are not ruling out the possibility of cholera after inspecting water supply being used by the students at the school from the water tanks.
The quarantine took effect last Thursday and would go on for three weeks to allow the medical team to assess the situation.
During this time, students would be treated by the medical team at the college and are not allowed to be treated at the community clinics.
With the enforced quarantine regulations in place, classes have been suspended for an indefinite period.
The provincial education division is concerned about the future of the students, especially since the college currently caters for students upgrading their marks with the Department of Open Distance Learning (DODL) and trainee teachers on block courses.
People in communities around the college have been restricted of their movements in and out of the college area and have been urged to wear safety gear like masks.