The outbreak of swine flu cases has prompted health officials in the United States to be on the lookout for students returning to classes this week who show symptoms of the virus, which has killed at least 20 and perhaps more than 100 people in Mexico, a number of them young, healthy adults.
In California, where at least seven people have tested positive for swine flu, a school in the northern part of the state remains closed while investigators test a group of seventh graders who may have been exposed by a classmate who recently returned from a vacation in Cancún, Mexico. California's health department said Sunday that it expects more cases to turn up in the coming days, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
New York health officials are also trying to determine if more students and adults are carrying the swine flu after eight students at a high school in Queens, including some who recently returned from spring break in Mexico, tested positive for the virus, the Times-Union in Albany reports. In Texas, two 16-year-old boys have recovered from the virus, but investigators are examining a third teenager who may have been infected. In the meantime, the Texas school that enrolls them has closed its doors. The other 13 schools in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District and two district facilities have also been closed.
As of Sunday, there were 20 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States. Eight of those were in New York, seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas, and one in Ohio. Health officials expect the number to rise. The federal government has authorized the distribution of Tamiflu to treat swine flu victims.
No one should panic, authorities say. There are several precautions that people can take, including washing their hands regularly and staying home if they feel sick. For more safety tips and to learn more about swine flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.