School closed after swine flu confirmation - East Valley Tribune: News

School closed after swine flu confirmation

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Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:27 am | Updated: 12:59 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A northwest Phoenix elementary school was ordered closed for a week on Wednesday because one of its students came down with the swine flu.

The Maricopa County Health Department requested the closure when the diagnosis was confirmed by federal health officials, Washington Elementary School District spokeswoman Carol Donaldson said.

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A northwest Phoenix elementary school was ordered closed for a week on Wednesday because one of its students came down with the swine flu.

The Maricopa County Health Department requested the closure when the diagnosis was confirmed by federal health officials, Washington Elementary School District spokeswoman Carol Donaldson said.

Moon Mountain Elementary School was closed just after noon on Wednesday and its 800 students won't be returning until May 7.

The 8-year-old boy who attends Moon Mountain has already recovered from the flu, Gov. Jan Brewer said at an afternoon press conference.

First U.S. swine flu death reported

U.S. flu deaths seen as likely as outbreak spreads\

 

Decision Theater tests pandemic flu plans

 

State test flu samples; hospitals see rush

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said tests confirmed the case from one of four samples Arizona sent to the CDC on Monday and Tuesday. Results of tests on the three other possible Arizona cases could come back later Wednesday.

None of the four patients who either tested positive for swine flu or potentially had the virus required hospitalization, state health department spokeswoman Laura Oxley said.

"We are taking aggressive measures ... because this is a new virus and until we know more about it and are certain we know it we will do what we can to limits its spread," said Bob England, Maricopa County's health director.

But England said it appears that this flu is no more virulent than other types of flu. The aggressive measures are only being taken because the strain is new. He said the boy recovered and had returned to school before the CDC confirmed he had the flu.

The county’s confirmation came on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting one child has died of the disease in Texas. That victim was a Mexican toddler whose family brought him to Houston for treatment.

With the latest reports, the United States has 91 confirmed cases of swine flu in 10 states, including 51 cases in New York City. Globally, there are 148 confirmed cases and eight deaths — seven in Mexico.

Earlier this week, Arizona sent four suspected cases of the virus to CDC labs for further testing. Swine flu is a strain of influenza A that previously had not been seen.

When patients come into doctors’ offices, hospitals or urgent care centers with flu-like symptoms, medical officials are taking saliva swabs. Those identified as influenza A are being sent to the state health labs for testing. If they cannot be identified as one of the previously known types of influenza A, they are being sent to the federal CDC labs.

Swine flu symptoms appear like other influenza diseases. Patients have high fevers, coughs, aches and may experience vomiting.

The public can take healthy steps that include hand washing, staying home if they feel ill and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

Also on Wednesday, President Barack Obama said widespread school closures may be necessary if the outbreak spreads. His remarks came a day after Arizona School Superintendent Tom Horne sent a memo to the state’s schools advising them to take necessary precautions.

Valley Metro, the region’s public-transit agency, is responding to the crisis with public-service announcements. By next week, the interiors of buses will have bilingual informational placards emphasizing hygiene.

“We rarely do these, but when it’s a public health issue it’s a good message for a bus that has 40 people on it,” Valley Metro spokeswoman Susan Tierney said.

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