With the government shutdown causing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be closed, situations like this can be very scary. A student from Springview Elementary School, which is open today, is in critical condition after contracting a possible infectious and contagious disease.

Mark Valacak, the Genesee County Health Officer, told M-live today that this is a very serious potential illness, but that "if it is what we think it is, it can be treated with antibiotics."  They are still awaiting test results to confirm exactly what the disease is.

The Flushing Superintendent, Timothy Z. Stein, said that the district sent home a letter to parents yesterday, and that a recorded phone message was used to inform parents of the situation.  Stein also said,

"Our thoughts and prayers are going out to the family."

Parents are being advised to continue to send their kids to school unless they are displaying symptoms related to the illness.  In that case, they are to consult their doctor immediately. The symptoms include severe abdominal pain, high temperature, headache, chills, flu-like symptoms, neck stiffness, muscle aches, back pain and vomiting.

According to the letter sent to parents, the disease can "be spread by coughing, sneezing, kissing, and the sharing of kitchen utensils," in addition to saliva and nasal secretions.
The best way to prevent the spread of this illness is proper and frequent hand washing.