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UPDATED: County, Hart, Newhall district officials confirm: no swine flu so far

Posted: April 29, 2009 11:14 a.m.
Updated: April 29, 2009 11:02 a.m.

There are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Los Angeles County, a county health official confirmed this morning.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County's Director of Public Health, said two clusters of patients are being tested for influenza-like symptoms in two Santa Clarita Valley schools. Public Health has not released the names of those schools.

When asked why the school names were not being released, Fielding answered by saying, "We have no confirmed cases of swine flu."

He told reporters that he would not release the names of the schools because of privacy issues.

He said public health officials are following up with each suspected flu outbreak as they would with any other situation and working with the schools.

"We are testing everyday in our lab and will let you know if anything is confirmed in our testing," he said.

None of the schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District are under investigation for swine flu, nor has any flu been found in any Hart District school, said Pat Willett, district spokeswoman.

The district remains in constant contact with Public Health, she said.

Hart district officials have received "a lot" of calls from concerned parents about whether Hart district schools are under investigation, Willett said.

"There's no cause to panic. We don't have any confirmed cases up here," she said.

The Hart district plans to reinforce that message in a ConnectEd phone message to parents.

Officials at the Newhall School District sent a ConnectEd message home to parents confirming that no cases of swine flu have been found in district schools, Superintendent Marc Winger said.

Newhall School District checked in with county health officials Wednesday morning. They were notified that there are no swine flu-related incidents in district schools, Winger said.

School officials are continuing their efforts to remind students and staff about proper hygeine, he said.

The district has also increased sanitizing measures at school sites, he said.

As for parents keeping their children home due to concern about swine flu, "We've heard sporadic reports of them," he said.

"We have kids who are sick at school every day," he said.

Keeping kids home from school over fear of swine flu interrupts student education, Winger said.

"We have our state testing coming up within the next two-week window," he said. "That's just a critical time of year for us."


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