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Swine flu closes another school to stop its spread

PUBLISHED: 18:01 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010

A LEAGUE table topping private school has closed after a lower-school pupil caught swine flu. A Bromley pupil at Dulwich s fee-paying James Allen s Preparatory School (JAPS) was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus last Sunday leading to the middle school closi

A LEAGUE table topping private school has closed after a lower-school pupil caught swine flu.

A Bromley pupil at Dulwich's fee-paying James Allen's Preparatory School (JAPS) was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus last Sunday leading to the middle school closing for a week on Tuesday.

The Mexican-borne flu crept into south-east London this week as five new cases were confirmed in Greenwich, including a traveller returning to the borough, bringing the total London cases to 61.

A Bromley Primary Care Trust spokesperson said: "Out of hours GPs have given Tamiflu to close connections of the patient under Health Protection Agency guidelines.

"There was a small risk of further children at the school incubating the virus which needed to be avoided."

The closure of the school follows that of nearby Alleyn's School, based around four miles from Bromley in Dulwich, on May 4.

Blackheath Nursery and Preparatory School in St German's Place, Greenwich, was closed for a week last Wednesday when it emerged that four pupils including one from Greenwich caught the virus.

No council schools in Bexley, Bromley or Greenwich have closed due to the virus.

A traveller returning to Greenwich was diagnosed with the virus on Sunday and last Friday NHS London said an adult from the borough had caught it from an earlier case.

A Health Protection Agency spokesperson said: "The school closed on our advice because it was concerned it had one case of swine flu.

"The children were showing the usual flu symptoms.

"If other schools have concerns where it looks like someone has flu symptoms, if it is necessary to close schools to control the spread, we will do that."

The virus has affected some 102 Britons and almost 9,000 people world-wide, killing 74 people.

A stronger surge of cases is anticipated in Britain later this year.

A spokesperson for NHS Greenwich said that doctors and nurses from the borough were providing anti-viral drugs to anyone who came into contact with children suffering from the virus.

Bexley has not seen any of its residents come down with swine flu.

If you think you are suffering symptoms of swine flu, it is advised to avoid seeing your GP and phone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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