Swine Flu Shuts Down Schools
Some students are starting summer break early, but not for a good reason. Numerous schools across the nation are shutting down to prevent the spread of the swine flu (WHO has requested it be renamed H1N1). The swine flu is a strain of the flu virus that usually just affects pigs. However, new mutated strain has surfaced and is now infecting humans. The symptoms are similar to a normal flu, and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills, and fatigue.
The swine flu originated in Mexico, where more than 1,600 people are infected and more than 150 are suspected to have died from it. The first U.S. death occurred in Texas on Wednesday, April 29. On Friday, there were more than 220 reported cases of swine flu in the United States, infecting people in 30 states. The swine flu is also spreading to Europe, South America, and Asia, affected a total of 19 continents. It has been deemed a level 6 disease by WHO, which means it is widespread around the world.
The swine flu is more likely to strike younger people, said Dr. Schuchat, interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The median age of those affected is 17.
More than 300 schools in 11 states have closed their doors in an effort to stop the spread among students. The Ft. Worth Independent School District closed all 144 schools in the district on April 30, after one student was confirmed infected and three others were suspected of being sick. Officials say that the schools will probably be closed until May 11, at the earliest. Schools in Chicago have also closed.
President Obama said that schools with confirmed cases should consider closing if the situation becomes more serious. The U.S. government is “closely and continuously monitoring” the spread of the disease and advises staying away from large groups, not eating in restaurants, and washing your hands multiple times a day.
via New York Times and Sify