Episcopal High Student Confirmed As Area’s First Swine Flu Case, School Temporarily Closes
A 17-year-old Episcopal High School student has been confirmed as the Houston area’s first case of swine flu.
Health officials from the Fort Bend County, where the girl lives, made the announcement Wednesday evening after receiving confirmation of the case from the Centers for Disease Control.
Episcopal High School immediately announced that it will close at least through the weekend.
In a statement posted on its website, the school said it was closing on orders from the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services Department.
“We learned this evening from Harris County that one of our students has tested positive for swine flu. That student has not been in school at all this week because of the flu-like symptoms, and the student’s mother indicates this evening that the student is feeling better,” the announcement reads. “In compliance with the directives of the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services Department, Episcopal High School will be closed through the weekend, effective immediately. The campus will remain locked during that time.”
The announcement went on to say the school was taking all necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of the students, faculty, staff and community.
“We will continue to carefully monitor this developing situation and will share any new information with you as it becomes available. We will reopen the school as soon as we are advised by Harris County that it is appropriate to do so,” the notice said. “Decisions concerning planned events, including any necessary rescheduling, will also be posted, so please check www.ehshouston.org frequently.”
Officials say the girl first started feeling ill last week and sought medical treatment. At that time she was given a swab test for swine flu. The results of that swab test were received today, confirming the girl was infected with the H1N1, or swine flu, virus.
The girl, who has not recently traveled to Mexico and has had no apparent connection with anyone who has, has since recovered. None of her family members are currently reported to have any symptoms of the flu.
So far, a total of 16 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Texas. Counties affected so far include Cameron, Dallas, Fort Bend, Guadalupe and Starr.
The total includes a Mexico City toddler who died Monday in Houston after falling ill while visiting relatives in Brownsville and being transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital. That case was the first confirmed swine flu death in the United States since the outbreak began.