Seven confirmed cases of swine flu in Louisiana

By Charlie Bartlett - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Seven is the latest tally of confirmed cases here in Louisiana but Governor Bobby Jindal and health officials say it's likely to expand. The Governor addressed the media at a press conference earlier today in our state's capital about the concerns of this progressing health scare.

There were 23 suspected swine flu cases in Louisiana, now the state confirms there are seven people who are being affected with swine flu. The state sent nine cases for testing and two came back negative.

"Of the seven cases that are positive, they are all at home being treated on anti-virals and medications. Indeed, some of the kids are apparently active again and they are all responding very well to the medications," said Governor Bobby Jindal.

Of the seven confirmed cases, one each are in Orleans and Ascension Parishes, the other five are in Lafayette Parish. The cases are all students who attend the Cathedral Carmel School. This was the first school the state closed last Wednesday.  Others now closed are Fatama School, Saint Piyus, and Ascension Episcopal.

"Due to the large overlap of activity and contact between students at these schools, DHH and CDC guidelines are recommending these schools remain closed for up to fourteen days. We're going to continue providing further guidance to these impacted schools based on the CDC guidelines and what epidemiologists find on the grounds," said Jindal.

In addition to the closings, the state has also decided to close St. Thomas More High school due to their close connection with Cathedral Carmel.

"The reason that we are recommending this closure is that there is a student at St. Thomas More who is a sibling to a Cathedral Carmel student who is a suspected case. That student's sibling at St. Thomas More was in school on Friday. He had flu like symptoms, so based on that fact, we have recommended to close that school," said Jindal.

Governor Bobby Jindal and state health officials believe these cases will expect to rise and they are taking action.

"We're going to have to continue to act quickly and aggressively based on the information on the ground in accordance.  We're certainly going to be much more proactive not only on confirmed and suspicious cases but we are also going to take different steps depending on whether there is a cluster present in any of these cases," said Jindal.

One of those suspect cases was also in Beauregard Parish.  There is still no word yet on if that case has been confirmed.