May 15, 2009
Travis Elementary closes for a week
Travis Elementary is our neighborhood school, where Olivia will be in the fall for kindergarten. They've had a lot of kids absent this week, enough to close the school through Memorial Day.
The number of Travis Elementary School students diagnosed with swine flu has jumped to 12, likely the largest cluster of the new influenza virus in Texas, health officials said today. The school will be closed until May 26, HISD officials said.
Nearly 400 of the Heights-area school's 712 students stayed home sick today, and a steady stream of parents were removing their children from school throughout the day.
It's not known how many children are sick and how many are being kept at home as a precaution. Some youngsters have had symptoms including fevers, headaches and stomachaches.
That's a change from earlier today
when they thought they'd keep the school open while encouraging parents to keep sick kids home till they're fever-free for 24 hours, and washing everything in sight. I have a feeling some of my neighbors are going to be scrambling for child care arrangements next week.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 15, 2009 to Elsewhere in Houston
This is a strain of influenza virus never seen before - this is another reminder of that as well as a reminder of why WHO issued a pandemic warning.
It is not the number of cases that matters. It is the virus itself. And no one, including WHO, knows what will happen as it mutates.
There is a question about the school closings. The schools are closed once the number of cases indicate a problem. We may be just transferring the problem from schools to day care centers. All it takes is one kid in either setting to spread it.
The reality of influenza virus is you cannnot stop its spread. All you can do is try to immunize against a prevalent and current strain and treat it as best you can.
As we found out last fall a vaccine isn't 100%. Last year's prevalent strain mutated. Some of the anti-virals work with some strains. But not with others.
This is not very reassuring for those of us who thought it would just go away.