Mary Tutwiler

Five swine flu cases confirmed in Lafayette

by Mary Tutwiler

Cathedral-Carmel School, in downtown Lafayette, is the epicenter of swine flu cases in Louisiana. Five cases, all students at Cathedral-Carmel, are now confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced on Sunday. Two other confirmed cases have been reported in Orleans and Ascension parishes. The Advocate reports that samples from another 16 Louisiana residents with suspected swine flu have been sent to the CDC.

Five schools have been closed in Lafayette as a precaution against the flu. Cathedral-Carmel closed last Wednesday. St. Pius, Our Lady of Fatima, Ascension Day School and St. Thomas More High School have all shut their doors because of a possible cluster of infections, according to state health officials. Intermingling between students is cited as the reason for shuttering the four elementary schools. A student at St. Thomas More has a sibling with suspected flu symptoms who attends Cathedral-Carmel.

Other school closures for precautionary measures are Westminister Christian Academy's seventh grade class in Opelousas and St. Cecilia in Broussard. While there are no cases of flu, ten daycare centers in Lafayette are also being monitored because of siblings who attend schools with identified cases of swine flu, as The Daily Advertiser reports. State health officials recommend that schools stay closed for up to 14 days.