St. Francis Prep to open Monday

May 1, 2009 2:48:41 PM PDT
The principal of the New York City high school with dozens of swine flu cases says the school will reopen Monday and parents should feel comfortable sending their healthy kids back to class. Brother Leonard Conway of St. Francis Preparatory School says the 45 students diagnosed with swine flu have "recovered or are recovering."

He tells a news conference that "things are looking very good" and "there is nothing to worry about."

Conway says workers have made a "full scrubdown" of the school including opening doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate and flushing the air conditioning system.

The Catholic school in Queens has been closed all week.

Federal health officials have confirmed a total of 50 cases in New York.

New York City's health commissioner says he has found few signs that the city's outbreak of swine flu is spreading beyond a few pockets or getting more dangerous.

Dr. Thomas Frieden says tests indicate that a recently hospitalized Pace University student thought to have the illness actually had a garden-variety strain of the flu.

In addition to three probable cases in Westchester County, a student from St. Patricks's School in Bedford is being tested for swine flu. But the school has not shut down.

And in Orange County: one of the two probable cases is a New York City firefighter. He is recovering at home.

No one else in his fire company is suffering symptoms.

Although the CDC is expected to announce more swine flu cases across New York City -- at least at St. Francis where the outbreak was first detected -- the number of students afflicted has leveled off.

New Jersey health officials have confirmed two more cases of swine flu in New Jersey and an additional probable case.

So far, seven people in New Jersey have been determined to have the virus. Tests on an eighth person have been sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services says all seven confirmed cases are mild forms of the flu and no one has been hospitalized.

In at least five of the seven confirmed cases, people traveled to California or Mexico.

Connecticut's governor says a Stratford resident has tested positive for swine flu, the first confirmed case in that state.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell says the state received confirmation Friday from the federal Centers for Disease Control.

The person has already recovered and did not require hospitalization.

Rell says a second suspected case, an adult in Southbury, has tested inconclusive for swine flu and more tests will be conducted.

In addition to the Stratford case, there are six probable cases of swine flu, including a Middlefield child, two Fairfield University students and residents in Glastonbury and Fairfield.

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever, lack of appetite, coughing and fatigue.

  • Swine Flu Resource Guide
  • ON THE NET: NYC Health Info

    Swine flu is a respiratory infection caused by influenza type A viruses that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can occur. Human cases typically involve people who have had direct contact with pigs, but likely person-to-person transmission has now been reported in California, Texas, Mexico and New York City. Again, the cases in Mexico have had a high fatality rate, but the confirmed cases in the U.S. have been mild and all patients have recovered without treatment.

    The symptoms of swine flu in people appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting as well. New Yorkers experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek health care and treatment. Otherwise, the health department recommends at-home care.

    The most effective way to lower the risk of influenza transmission is for people with symptoms to stay home. All New Yorkers should cover their mouths when they cough. Additional precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
  • Swine influenza cannot be transmitted from eating pork or pork products.

    For facts about influenza, and more information about swine flu, please visit the health department and CDC Web sites. Some specific resources:

    From New York City Health Department

    Facts about flu

    From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    General information about swine flu

    Swine Flu Case Definitions

    Swine Flu Infection Control and Patient Care

    Preventing the Flu