Alone with Swine Flu, Thousands of Miles from Home

A group of North County students are in very scary situation, thousands of miles from home.

Six students and one teacher from a Carlsbad private school who have been quarantined on a class trip to China have been diagnosed with swine flu, school officials said Monday.

The seven are recovering in a hospital in Yichang, China, and are doing well, said school officials.

The group is among 35 freshmen and seven teachers from Pacific Ridge School who were nearing the end of a 13-day educational tour in China when they were quarantined on Thursday.
The Chinese government ordered the group to stay in Yichang after a few of the students developed flu-like symptoms.
Some are staying at a hospital, the others at a hotel.
The head of the school, Dr.Eileen Mullady, said the quarantine was in compliance with the Chinese government and World Health Organization protocols. "The hospital has been most accommodating to our students, and our staff is in direct communication with the president of the hospital, as well as attending physicians."
School officials said they are working closely with Chinese authorities, who they described as very responsive throughout the ordeal.
Rick Sapp's 15-year-old daughter is in quarantine. He said, "The word 'quarantine' is a word you never want to hear and you get that sinking feeling."
He has spoken to his daughter over the phone.
The entire group is being treated with Tamiflu, the standard medication for people exposed to the swine flu.
The quarantined students are confined to their individual rooms, but are able to call home at any time and have access to televisions and computers, Mullady said.
They seem to be particularly enthralled by Chinese cartoons," she said at a news briefing at the school Monday afternoon.Teachers said there have been no additional cases of the swine flu within the group in the last 24 hours.
School officials said they do not know when the school group will return to San Diego.
They are hoping to have some of the students out of quarantine by the end of this week.
Pacific Ridge is a nonprofit, private secondary school that opened in 2007 in Carlsbad's Bressi Ranch area. Currently, it has more than 200 seventh-, eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grade students.
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