Sep 18, 2009 5:40 AM by Bea Karnes, Nicole Vandeputte
Cesar Chavez Academy charter school in Colorado Springs is closed because of an apparent swine flu outbreak. School was dismissed at 1 pm Thursday--the school will remain closed until Wednesday of next week as the building is disinfected, and students and teachers are given the opportunity to recover.
The school reports 87 students and teachers are sick, about 40-percent of the school's population. According to school officials, the El Paso County Health Department told them they should presume that the illnesses are H1N1 swine flu, since season flu has yet to be detected in the community.
Dr. Bernadette Albanese is the Medical Director of the El Paso County Health Department. She says the school made the decision to close. "We don't want sick kids in school. We don't want sick teachers in school because that is just an environment where the flu spreads easily," she adds.
She says this flu strain is on the rise, and it's probably in every school in the county. Her advice; stay home if you are sick to slow the spread of this illness. She says the H1N1 strain acts similar to the regular flu. It is mostly dangerous to anyone who might have underlying health issues.
All scheduled activities between now and next Wednesday are postponed, including the back to school carnival.
This closing only affects the charter school in Colorado Springs. The Cesar Chavez in Pueblo is still open.