Local School to Close Due to Probable Swine Flu Case

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The first probable case of the H1N1 swine flu strain in Berkeley has prompted the city's health department and the Berkeley Unified School District superintendent to close a local elementary school for the next seven days, officials announced today.

Berkeley's Department of Health and Human Services recommended that Malcolm X Elementary School in South Berkeley be closed after a parent at the school, whose two children have also experienced flu-like symptoms, was diagnosed with the strain, said Janet Berreman, acting health officer for the department.

Like most who contract swine flu, the individual did not require hospitalization and is recovering well, she said.

"Its been a very mild illness so far," Berreman said.

Following the seven day period, she said the department will consider closing the school for an additional week.

The flu spreads quickly in schools because students are often in close contact, according to Berreman.

"We know that for seasonal flu, children are very effective amplifiers of the disease," she said.

Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett said the district urged parents and students last week to wash their hands and avoid contact with others if they experience symptoms.

"Normal behavior and normal precautions and care are what should be done for this flu," he said.

Tags: MALCOLM X ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, SWINE FLU, BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES


Contact Zach A. Williams at [email protected]



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