Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Louisiana school ordered closed due to Swine Flu threat

The State of Louisiana ordered the closure of a private Catholic school in the city of Lafayette due to the threat of swine flu, although officials say there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the state.

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, DHH Secretary Alan Levine and DHH health officials announced that they have recommended the closure of a Lafayette parish school - Cathedral Carmel School in Lafayette - as a precautionary step, after tests showed five possible cases of the H1N1 virus (know as "swine flu"), including one involving a student who recently returned from Mexico.

Governor Jindal said, “I want to emphasize that this is a precautionary step out of concern that some of these students may have the virus. We’ve got to do everything we can to keep our children and all Louisianans from being exposed if these tests come back positive.

“If this is indeed the swine flu, then it’s very important we contain it immediately. We think it’s prudent to close the school to try to prevent any further spread of the virus.

“Again, I want to highlight how important it is for all Louisianians to take proper steps to protect themselves and prevent the spread of any germs.”

Samples of five Cathedral Carmel School students are being tested by the State Public Health Lab to determine if the sample is un-typable for H1N1 (swine flu) virus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm after the state test. The students, all 6th graders, have tested positive for Influenza Type A, which may indicate the H1N1 virus.

DHH epidemiologists and medical experts have confirmed that the family of one of the suspicious cases recently returned from a cruise to Mexico, which may have exposed them to potential infection.

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