Swine flu case confirmed in Houston area

April 30, 2009 5:25:04 AM PDT
Officials have confirmed there is a case of swine flu in Fort Bend County. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]
[SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Map of closings related to swine flu]
[INTERACTIVE MAP: Map and timeline of swine flu cases]
[CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Questions answered by local expert]
[TRAVEL ALERT: What the CDC wants you to know ]

The affected Ft. Bend County resident is a female teenage student at Episcopal High School in Harris County. According to health officials, she is feeling better Wednesday night. She was never hospitalized, but was sick for several days and has not been in school all week.

Episcopal High School will be shut down and the campus will remain locked starting Thursday. Students and staff are not allowed to come to school.

The head of the school told us that there are about 659 students in grades 9-12 there. They told us that the closure was at the recommendation of the health department.

Ft. Bend County is in the early stages of the investigation. They are still trying to determine if it's a single illness or if other residents are affected. They will be looking over the teenager's health records.

Health officials in Ft. Bend County said they sent the sample to the CDC late last week and received confirmation late Wednesday.

Kaye Reynolds, Deputy Director of the Ft. Bend County Health Department, said, "No one else in the family has come down with any illness at all. They had the same treatment as other contacts have had, so hopefully there will be no transmission that way."

Ft. Bend County health officials also told us that they are awaiting results of tests of approximately 30 more people that may test positive for swine flu.

Ned Smith, Head of School at Episcopal High School, said workers will be scrubbing down and disinfecting while the school is closed. He also said there has not been an unusally high absentee rate the last few days.

"We care mostly about the child in question. I've actually spoken with the parents of the student. She is feeling much better. That was our first priority. The second priority is the health and welfare of our community: the faculty, the staff and the students," said Smith.

Smith also said the school sent an email to the community Wednesday evening to inform them that they would be closed as long as the Harris County officials need them to be closed.

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