Five confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in Acadiana
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – The swine flu fears that have swept the country have hit the Acadiana area hard in the past few weeks. Though no Acadia parish residents have been diagnosed as having caught the flu - which is also known as the H1N1 flu - several area schools have been closed, most as a precautionary measure. Some at the direct request of Governor Bobby Jindal.
As reported last week, the most serious case of this particular strain of flu seems to have hit Cathedral Carmel of Lafayette where five students have contracted the H1N1 flu. The school is reported to reopen this Wednesday.
The other schools that have been closed are due to some of their students having Type A flu which is the grade of flu that the swine flu falls under. However, this only means that the students only have a possibility of having the swine flu.
The other schools that have been closed are:
• St. Cecilia, Broussard - Reopening has yet to be determined but the school has two students that have been diagnosed with Type A flu.
• Fatima, Lafayette - Has three cases of Type A flu and is not scheduled to reopen until at least Thursday.
• Westmister Christian Academy is advising any student who went to Mexico recently to stay home through at least Monday. They are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to get a doctor’s release before returning to school.
• Ascension Episcopal School has been ordered by Governor Bobby Jindal to close. They have one child who has been diagnosed with Type A flu. School officials want to stress that only the campus on Johnson St. will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
• St. Thomas More High School has been ordered closed by Jindal after it was discovered that a STM student has a sibling from Cathedral Carmel that has been diagnosed with Type H1N1 (swine) flu.
With the news now hitting closer to home, students are becoming worried about how it will affect the end of the school year and how it will effect high school seniors ability to graduate. Though no graduation plans have yet to be altered throughout the Acadiana area.
It needs to be stressed again that no students in Acadia Parish have been diagnosed with Type A flu and there have been no school closures in the parish. Swine flue cannot be contracted by eating pork. It can only be contracted by direct contact with someone who has this strain of flu.
“To this point there have been no cases at American Legion Hospital,” said American Legion Hospital CEO Terry Osbourne. “American Legion is in constant communication with state and federal agencies pertaining to the flu situation. We have implemented all CDC and DHH requirements.”