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Swine Flu Closes Rural Oregon School

For the first time this fall, an Oregon school is closing due to the H1N1 virus.

The K-12 public school in the small southwestern Oregon town of Prospect will be closed Tuesday, and plans to stay closed through the end of the week.

State officials say that Prospect has seen about 40 of its 120 students sickened by the flu virus. In addition, half the teachers are out.

Richard Leman  is an epidemiologist with the state of Oregon.

Richard Leman: “We do have a system set up to monitor for school closures. We do have some information coming in from schools around the state regarding levels of illness – this is unusual.”

The primary advice from state and federal officials this fall has been not to close schools. But administrators say that when absences get to a certain level, it's very difficult to keep school open.    

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