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LAUSD reports 1st probable swine flu case

May 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
No students were allowed on an Orange County elementary school campus as of 6 a.m. Monday, when a recorded message from the school went out to more than 500 families, letting them know that school was closed.A student at Fairfax High School appears to have contracted the virus. However, school district officials say they do not plan to shut down the campus.

School officials say they're following new guidelines from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The CDC advices that unless the school has a large number of probable swine flu cases, officials don't need to close the campus off.

The district says there is no huge medical threat to the students.

"At this point the L.A. County Department of Public Health has determined that the virus is already spreading in a very mild way. Closing the school doesn't stop the virus from spreading," said Dr. Kimberly Uyeda, from the school district.

At the same time, the district called in a team of sanitation experts to disinfect restrooms and other areas where people might pick up the illness.

The teachers union disagrees with the district's decision. Members say the school should at least be closed during the disinfecting of school grounds.

"We're concerned. I mean, on the one hand they're saying that the school is safe for faculty and staff, on the other hand we're greeted today by literally multiple hazmat workers in masks, in fully dawned outfits, disinfecting the school," said Mike Stryer, a member of the UTLA. "How is it that it's safe for students and faculty staff, and yet we have these hazmat workers? This is a district that can't shoot straight."

Fairfax High says it has brought in additional nursing staff as a precaution. Officials have also released reading material to students reminding them to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, and to stay home if they are feeling sick.

Meanwhile, classes resumed at a number of Southern California schools Wednesday after they were closed due to possible swine flu cases.

The following schools have reopened:

Fred Moiola Elementary School
Newbury Park High School
Art Haycox Elementary School
Charles Blackstock Junior High School
Della S. Lindley Elementary School
Lee Pollard High School
Mission Bell Elementary School
Shandin Hills Middle School
Clement Middle School
Boys and Girls Club, Redlands
Lytle Creek Elementary School
Barton Elementary School
Ruth Harris Middle School

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