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Wary of SARS, Fla. parents plan to keep 10 children out of school

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Fearing the SARS virus, parents said they would keep at least 10 elementary school children home, starting today, when a teacher planned to return from a trip to China.

School officials said they planned to tell media specialist Gayle Grossman about the parents' decision but said she would not be asked to stay home if she feels healthy.

Health officials have encouraged people who visit areas with cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome to continue normal activities unless they begin to experience symptoms of the virus. The first sign is usually a fever.

The parents said their children would stay home from Bayview Elementary for 10 days. That is the outer range of the disease's incubation period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"If we wait until she develops symptoms, it could be too late," parent Virginia Gabriel said.

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