Melbourne Girls’ College in Richmond today confirmed a Year 9 student has tested positive to swine flu yet the school remains open.

The Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) has provided her family members with the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and is currently identifying other students and
staff who have had prolonged contact with the girl.

Fotoula Margaronis, whose two daughters attend the college says that she is concerned but not panicking that her daughters are still at the school.

She received an email yesterday alerting her to the situation and directing her to the website in which the principal had posted information for parents.

Although one of her daughters is in the same year level as the student with the flu she is relieved that she is not in the same class and does not believe that she has had direct contact with the affected girl.

“I have not made contact with the school because I know that the principal knows what she is doing and the girls are in good hands. If there was any danger I know that she would send the girls home or close the school.”

Ms Margaronis does not believe that parents should keep their children at home just yet.

“I’ll keep an eye on my girls within the next 24 to 48 hours and if they come down with any symptoms I will act on it.”

Principal Judy Crowe has stated on the college’s website that “some people in our school community may be asked to enter into quarantine in the coming days.”

Ms Crow also said that the DHS would notify her immediately of the outcome

The latest school outbreak takes the national swine flu toll to 61, with Victoria’s acting Chief Medical Officer affirming that one in five Australians could contract the H1N1 strain.

Mr Brumby admitted that it was impossible to stop the virus spreading but that quarantining victims had successfully limited its spread.

Special clinics will be set up at the Royal Children’s hospital, the Austin Hospital in Heidleberg, and hospitals in the northern and western suburbs to help cope with the increasing cases.

The Premier said that the clinics would allow swine flu patients to be isolated from general waiting rooms.

“Concerned families have been heeding the advice of the government and health authorities that they should see a doctor if they are concerned about flu-like illness and this has led to a significant increase in visits to hospital emergency departments,” he said.

“Our advice is still for parents to take their children if they develop symptoms to their local doctor who will then refer them to the clinics if necessary.”