BPS: Marshall School student has Swine Flu

A kindergarten student at the John Marshall Elementary School in Dorchester has become the first Boston Public School student diagnosed with the Swine Flu, the Reporter learned this afternoon.

The K-1 student, who was sent home sick from the Westville Street schoolhouse on Friday, May 1, was diagnosed yesterday. Boston Public Schools spokesman Chris Horan said that school officials would not disclose the name, age or gender of the child. Horan said that — given the time that has elapsed since this student's illness began on Friday— Marshall School officials are optimistic that the case is an isolated one.

"There are no kids in the school right with flu-like symptoms," said Horan, who said that the Marshall School will remain open.
"We would not have opened the school if we felt we were putting and children or adults in harm's way," Horan told the Reporter. "What we know two weeks [after the outbreak] is that this is a manageable illness."

Parents of children who use the adjacent community center at the Marshall will also be notified of the case today, although school officials do not believe that the child in question would have come in contact with anyone at the center.

As of Wednesday, the state's Department of Public Health had reported 45 cases across Massachusetts. Each of the new cases — ranging in age from 2 to 57 — was expected to fully recover.

Massachusetts residents can call (2-1-1) for basic information about swine flu. Updated information can always be found at http://www.mass.gov/dph/swineflu.

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