Letter to the Editor: Schools Please Take Precautions to Avoid Spread of Enterovirus 68

By Liviu Popa-Simil, PhD.
A concerned parent

In a talk with my sons with respect to the Human Enterovirus 68 (a respiratory virus infecting and hospitalizing children across 10 states including nearby Colorado), about staying away from crowded places, I have identified some very sensitive points in schools where kids are forced to crawl like “chickens in a non-ecological chicken farm” (animal protection groups call that animal cruelty).

These are the locker spaces where all students come at once during almost every break, crawling one over another, spreading spit and vapors all over. Hygiene and restroom policies are some other issues.

Please take steps and relieve these very hot spots – with very wrong – student cruelty embedded designs – in order to reduce the probability of transmission of this disease in Los Alamos, if this matters to the Los Alamos Public Schools administration.

Of course in the case of no action and more mandatory meetings for all students and parents for crappy things like sports electives – the medical business will boom in Los Alamos, as well as emergency transport to better equipped hospitals.

I suggest to split these lockers in four places or to align them along the hallways, creating a 5-foot radius space among students. I think LAPS has the necessary knowledge and managerial experience to do even better. I do not see any significant drawback for this.

I remember a few years ago during the H1N1 epidemic – I wrote such a letter to the Aspen Elementary School principal and instead of considering the facts – a Smith’s employee died that week from H1N1 – she organized a “nice” Halloween Party at Aspen School where all the kids shook hands and exchanged high fives. A few days later my son became ill – the Los Alamos hospital was so unprepared and ill-equipped, but very expensive (four times that of Albuquerque) for that respiratory virus that he had to be transported by helicopter to Albuquerque. He was lucky, but the cost was more than $60,000. We learned from the children’s clinic that many other kids got sick that time after that “nice” socializing and it seems that principal learned nothing.

Please take the necessary steps to apply protection and prevention to help this viruse from spreading in Los Alamos Public Schools.

For more information, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.