State gets H1N1 flu test kits

Gov rides CTA to prove it's safe
May 4, 2009 4:29:49 PM PDT
As the rules for testing for the virus change, health experts are urging people not to overreact about the H1N1 flu.To help speed up the process of identifying and confirming cases of the H1N1 flu, the Center for Disease Control sent the state of Illinois testing kits. According to new guidelines, people should only get tested if they are hospitalized from flu-like symptoms.

H1N1 flu hotline numbers: 866-848-2094 for English/866-241-2138 for Spanish.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 9 cases of confirmed H1N1 flu in the state and 90 probable cases.

Schools cleanup following probable cases

Those cases have led some schools in the Chicagoland area to close, including 7 schools in Burbank District 111 that are closed Monday and Tuesday due to the virus. A student at Liberty Junior High School is recovering from a probable case of the swine flu.

"Me and my friends were thinking about it because a lot of people were going home sick Friday and Thursday, so we were kind of thinking they might close down the school," said Alex Vences, student.

The decision to close all of the schools affects 3,100 students in Burbank.

"One- to get our building sanitized as much as we possibly can, and, two- break whatever chain the virus might take between student to student," said Supt. Thomas Long, Burbank School District 111.

On Monday students at Homer School District 33C returned to class. School was canceled there on Friday because of a probable case of the H1N1 virus.

"We are in constant contact with health department. We are looking to them for guidance and direction, if and when we do receive a call there is a confirmed case of swine flu," said Supt. Mike Morrow, Homer School District 33C.

Government health officials are now recommending that schools with confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus close for at least two weeks. In Chicago Public Schools, students who have a temperature of 100-degrees or more will be told to stay home for 7 days. If more than 10-percent of the students are absent in any school, parents of those who are absent will be called and asked if their children have flu symptoms.

Gov. takes train to show it's safe

Governor Pat Quinn took the CTA Green Line train to work on Monday to show people that despite fears about the virus, it's safe to take public transportation. He encouraged riders to be diligent.

"It's important to tell everyone in Illinois- those who take public transit- it's safe and sound," said Gov. Quinn.

Last week, Vice President Jo Biden said he would not want his family riding in confined places like planes and trains. Then he back-peddled and said he did not mean it.

"That was very poor advice on the part of the vice president. I think that upon reflection he would realize that was a mistake. I regularly ride the CTA," Quinn said.

If you have questions about the H1N1 virus, please call 866-848-2094 for English and 866-241-2138 for Spanish. The hotline operates daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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