Flu fear causes La. school closure

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 3, 2009

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Lafayette Parish school will not open next week, the fourth closed in that parish because of swine flu fears, as the number of suspected cases in Louisiana rose to 23, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Saturday.

No cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the state. Jindal said all 23 suspected victims of swine flu are being treated at home with antiviral medication.

Jindal said Ascension Episcopal School will not open Monday because of a cluster of probable cases.

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Jindal said the five Lafayette Parish schools’ students interact often in extracurricular activities.

The schools will remain closed for up to two weeks, Jindal said.

“The goal is to prevent the spread of illness as much as possible,” he told reporters at a news conference called to update the flu situation.

Of the 23 suspected swine flu cases, there are 17 in Lafayette Parish; two in Orleans Parish; and one each in Ascension, Beauregard, St. Martin and St. Tammany parishes.