Swine flu closes a Long Island school district

May 2, 2009 9:11:38 PM PDT
A Long Island school system is shutting down for a week because three students have probable swine flu cases. A notice posted Saturday on the Deer Park school district Web site says all the students have mild symptoms and are recovering without hospitalization. But superintendent Elizabeth Marino says the district's six schools will close through May 10 as a precaution.

A Deer Park middle schooler was identified as a probable case earlier in the week, prompting many parents to keep their children home.

Marino says she learned Saturday of two more probable cases. A Suffolk County spokesman says the two are believed to have been included in a statewide count earlier Saturday.

More than 430 schools around nationwide have closed because of the disease.

New York City health officials say they have found at least one person with swine flu who hadn't been to Mexico lately and isn't linked to a school that was the site of the biggest U.S. outbreak.

As of Saturday the city says 62 people have confirmed cases of the virus in the city. Another 17 cases are considered probable, although the real number of sick is likely much higher.

Health officials say 1,000 people connected to the St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens likely had swine flu.

Until this weekend, all cases in the state had connections either to the school or Mexico, but one person is now confirmed to have the illness with no known link to a cluster.

Authorities say the flu hasn't caused any serious illnesses in the city so far.

  • St. Francis Prep to open Monday

    NEW JERSEY

    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

    A child from Middlefield has tested positive for the swine flu virus, becoming the second confirmed case in Connecticut.

    Gov. Jodi Rell said Saturday that a positive test was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The Department of Public Health Laboratory also has identified six more people who have probable cases of swine flu in the state.

    They include five students at Fairfield University and a child from Wethersfield.

    Two other students at Fairfield University and adults in Fairfield and Glastonbury have probable cases of the disease. Test results from a person from Southbury were inconclusive and more tests are planned.

    All of those with confirmed or probable cases of the swine flu are recovering. None has been hospitalized.

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

    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
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cd/cdinflu.shtml

    From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    General information about swine flu
    http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/general_info.htm

    Swine Flu Case Definitions
    http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/casedef_swineflu.htm

    Swine Flu Infection Control and Patient Care
    http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidelines_infection_control.htm

    Preventing the Flu
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm


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