Government says it does not expect to order widespread school closures to prevent spread of swine flu: "Swine flu latest: No school closures planned
Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 14:17
Government says it does not expect to order widespread school closures to prevent spread of swine flu By inthenews.co.uk staff.
The government has said it does not expect to order widespread school closures to prevent the spread of swine flu this autumn.
Despite a lull in a number of new cases, it had been speculated the new school term could be put back to avoid the H1N1 virus regrouping.
The government's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson told journalists on Thursday a second wave of the virus was expected, but that automatic school closures were not the best course of action.
'We can't be sure that the schools closing [for summer] are the only reason for the reduction [in cases]; we saw a peak in Scotland after they closed,' he said.
It was today revealed that in the last week the number of new cases was slowing, with 11,000 in the last seven days.
The number of consultations with GPs is also falling, with most cases still mild and no signs of the virus changing.
Sir Liam did explain however that local school closures could be ordered on an as and when basis.
In the 1950s a flu pandemic was made worse by schoolchildren starting their autumn term, but in the 1960s it was not exacerbated until Christmas.
It was also revealed today that 54 people have died from swine flu since its outbreak, although most had severe underlying medical problems.
© 2009 www.InTheNews.co.uk ."