Were closing schools out of an abundance of caution, said Public Health Director Dr. David Fleming. The purpose is to reduce the risk for the infection to spread quickly in a close network.
So far the CDC has attributed one death in Texas to swine flu. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "each year in the United States, influenza kills more than 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 others."
In Seattle, shutting down schools puts a strain on parents who now have to scramble for child-care for a week or longer.
We understand that keeping kids at home presents child-care challenges for some families, Mayor Greg Nickels said, but were asking the community to work together for the safety of our children and others.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases flu information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention H1N1 swine flu
Here's what the Seattle P-Is reporting
Seattle Public Schools swine flu press release
Updated May 1, 2009 12:43 p.m.