Swine flu forces 14 school closures in Bay Area

Schools in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties closed due to outbreak of H1N1 virus

Reports of probable and confirmed cases of swine flu have closed at least 14 schools across the Bay Area as educators and public health officials continue monitoring the virus' spread through the region.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California has 30 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. The CDC has confirmed 286 total cases in the country.

Schools in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties were closed Monday to guard against the potential spread of the disease among children and their families.

In Santa Clara County, Rucker Elementary has reopened after a suspected case tested negative, according to public health officials. However, Branham High School, Ruskin, Challenger, and Delphi elementary schools remain closed, according to Belinda Quesada with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Two preschools, Elan Esprit and Sunshine School, are closed because they are located next to closed elementary schools.

The county is still awaiting test results for four probable cases of the virus, Quesada said.

Contra Costa County has reported eight probable cases of the H1N1 virus and closed five elementary schools: Brentwood, Coyote Creek, Highlands, Shore Acres and Lone Tree.

In Alameda County, Malcolm X Elementary School is closed and county officials know of two confirmed instances and one probable case of the virus, said Alameda County Public Health spokeswoman Sherri Willis.

The new probable case is an adult, but Willis said health workers are examining a 26-page printout of test results for about 50 additional specimens. So far the county has sent in about 120 specimens for testing, she said.

In Marin County, public health officials reported Monday morning they will reopen Bahia Vista Elementary School in San Rafael after a potential H1N1 test turned out negative. Tamalpais High School remains closed.

San Mateo, San Francisco and Solano County are reporting probable cases, and four confirmed in San Francisco, but no school closures.

Officials say the number of swine flu cases is still evolving. In a briefing Monday morning, Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC said his agency expects "ongoing hospitalizations and additional deaths" across the country as the disease spreads.

He advised people "not to let your guard down, but not to overreact."

Simple measures like washing hands, coughing into sleeves instead of hands, and staying home when you feel sick are the most effective guard against the disease, he said.

So far in the U.S., one infant in Texas has died from the H1N1 virus, according to the CDC. Like the seasonal flu, this strain can have a mild to severe effect on humans. Symptoms are similar to traditional human flu, and include fever, cough, body aches, chills, sore throat and fatigue, according to the CDC.

— Bay City News Service


 +   Like this comment
Posted by soccermom
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

I wish the media (Weekly included) would stop using the term "Swine" flu-- it just perpetuates the association with pigs and the resulting public panic about eating pork. The virus mutated and jumped to humans!!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Even the kids
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 9:22 am the schools have been instructed to use the term H1N1 for the virus.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 9:55 am

Now we have to be politically correct about what we call a flu?! Gimmie a break! If people are too stupid to know it doesn't come from eating pork that's their own problem! When does is stop?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Web Link

rather than give the flu a name, take a good look!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by AVHS Dad
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on May 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Now the government says not to bother closing the schools. Just stay home if you're sick.(DUH!)

Web Link

 +   Like this comment
Posted by none
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on May 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

we're all gonna die!!!!!! no i doubt it, but i sure hope it doesnt spread to pleasanton

 +   Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

"Swine flu forces 14 school closures in Bay Area"

Damn, Jeb... I wish you'd let me write headlines!

The Swine Flu didn't force anyone to do anything.

"School Administrators Overreact to insufficent information. Stop pissing money away long enough to close schools!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by josephina
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm

there is swine flu going around a health club in pleasanton. a visitor brought it from out of town. i hope our family doesn't get it!!!

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