County Closes Two Local Schools Due to Swine Flu

The county has recommended that two schools in San Diego County be closed due to the swine flu. Kearny High School and School for the Creative and Performing Arts will close for 14 days because of probable cases of swine flu.

One student at each school has been identified as a probable case of the virus, according to a spokesperson for the San Diego Unified School District.

“If they recommend to us that we close the district down, we’d be standing here telling you that,” SDUSD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “It’s business as usual throughout the district.”

Teachers are still allowed to come to work as long as they exhibit no symptoms of illness but the schools will be closed to students.

The schools are not located near each other.

There are 1,921 students at Kearny High School; 1,431 children attend the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

Students are expected to return to school on May 18.

County health officials are reporting three additional confirmed cases of swine flu.

“There are now 11 confirmed cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) in San Diego County,” San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said.

The U.S. Marine Corps said two of the cases are service members from Camp Pendleton.

Health officials have confirmed a total of 19 cases of Swine Flu across California including areas in San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial counties.

Two more "probable" cases of swine flu have been identified in Riverside County, bringing the total number of cases in the county to eight, public health officials say. The new probable victims are a 60-year-old woman with an unknown recent travel history and a 21-year-old Wildomar woman who had recently traveled to Mexico.

Other locations of possible cases under investigation: one in Los Angeles county, one in San Bernardino county, two in Orange County and three in Ventura county.

Concerns about a possible pandemic have sent people streaming into crowded emergency rooms and walk-in clinics -- not with swine flu, but the swine flu jitters.

While the situation varies greatly around the country, hospitals and clinics in California, New York, Alabama and other states are dealing with a surge in what New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said are "people who are worried, but not sick."

Coughs and sneezes that might have been ignored before the outbreak emerged are now a reason to see a doctor.

A U.S. health official says the new swine flu virus lacks genes that made the 1918 pandemic strain so deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the new virus is "a very unusual" four-way combination of human genes and genes from swine viruses found in North America, Asia and Europe.

Swine flu jitters so far have not caused widespread disruption to the health care system, but have slowed business in some facilities.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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