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LAUSD works to prevent swine flu spread

April 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
School districts across the country are concerned about the swine flu outbreak. Fortunately, at LAUSD, there are no confirmed reports of swine flu infections.State health officials said there were 13 confirmed cases of swine flu in California -- five in San Diego County, five in adjacent Imperial County and one in Sacramento.

A packet was prepared Monday that will be sent to all Los Angeles Unified schools that includes a letter to parents and information for principals on how to handle the flu, said Dr. Kimberly Uyeda, director of student medical services at LAUSD.

Although there are no confirmed cases among students in L.A. County, one student is sick with flu-like symptoms at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Claremont after a visit to Mexico with her mother. The mother is also reportedly sick. Both the student and the parent have been tested for the swine flu virus, but the results are not yet available.

Our Lady of the Assumption School remained open Monday, but will be closed Tuesday. Classes will resume after the outcome of the test results.

Local public health officials said they were certain it was already affecting Los Angeles County residents, even if it hasn't been reported yet.

As of Tuesday, California health officials will have the capability to test samples of patients believed to have swine flu. Currently, only officials at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have the ability to check for the strain.

Parents of LAUSD students said they are hoping their schools won't have to go through the same health scare.

"It's very dangerous for the kids that catch it. They get sick, you know, they should be in school," said parent Lisa Saldivar. "They need to try to keep the kids healthy so they don't catch any disease."

In Queens, New York, one school had to close for a few days after about 100 students tested positive for swine flu, apparently contracted during a spring break trip in Cancun. The school was still closed Monday as cleaning crews disinfected common areas on campus to keep the virus from spreading.

An entire school district outside San Antonio, Texas, was closed temporarily after about a dozen students tested positive for swine flu.

In California, a private school in Fair Oaks near Sacramento shut down temporarily when a 7th-grader tested positive for the flu. Later, two other cases were reported from the same school.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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