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Wed April 29, 2009
Thursday Update: FW Schools close for swine flu
By Scott Harvey
The University Interscholastic League has suspended all its schedule of events due to the outbreak of the swine flu in Texas.
The announcement made Wednesday will delay competitions until May 11. League officials acted on the recommendation of public health officials.
Late Wednesday night, Forth Worth Public School officials announced they will close all its campuses through at least next Friday, affecting about 80,000 students.
Several other schools, including one in Richardson and 11 in Cleburne, as well as several in South Texas, have also temporarily closed operations.
Wednesday morning, officials confirmed the first death caused by swine flu took place in Texas, as a 23-month-old Mexican boy died in Houston.
The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. stood at 94 Wednesday, including 51 cases in New York.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday increased its pandemic flu alert level to Phase 5 its second-highest level.
Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of regular or seasonal flu and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Health officials say everyone should follow standard precautions to reduce the spread of any respiratory illness. Those precautions include: Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others; cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues and; wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Still no cases of swine flu have been confirmed nor suspected in Hunt County, or any of its bordering counties in Northeast Texas. Officials are holding conference calls daily with state health officials. Tuesday night, the City of Commerce and Hunt County were featured on NBC Nightly News, highlighting the areas proactive approach in combating swine flu. To view the story, click the following link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#30463497