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Saint James School to suspend classes after 38 students get flu

October 14, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

o Saint James cancels sporting events

SAINT JAMES -- Saint James School will suspend its academic and athletic schedules for several days beginning Friday because of several cases of flu, including two documented cases of H1N1, commonly known as swine flu.

The school's infirmary has been open 24 hours a day to care for the boarding students stricken with illness, school nurse Janice McWilliams said Wednesday.

Of the school's 231 students, there are 38 cases of flu, she said.

The first flu case appeared around Oct. 6, McWilliams said. That seemed to be an isolated incident, but on Oct. 8 and 9, the spread escalated, she said.

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Two of the cases were confirmed as H1N1, McWilliams said. Washington County Hospital confirmed one case and a hospital in northern Virginia confirmed the other, she said.

Two students had flu-like symptoms Wednesday morning, McWilliams said. Those two cases are included in the total of 38, she said.

A fall break that was scheduled to begin Oct. 22 now will begin at the end of the academic day Friday, McWilliams said.

Classes and activities will resume Oct. 26. Faculty will remain on campus until all students are able to leave. School officials have asked students who are sick not to use mass transportation, including planes, according to the school's Web site.

Although much attention has been paid to swine flu, a Washington County Health Department spokesman has said the public should realize that any flu can be serious, and that seasonal flu alone causes about 36,000 deaths a year in the United States.

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