EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 7, 2009

Swine flu threat strikes Derry, Londonderry

Case suspected in Derry; four others possible in Londonderry

A Derry resident is New Hampshire's latest probable case of swine flu.

And as the virus apparently hit close to home yesterday, Londonderry School Superintendent Nate Greenberg said he has notified state health officials about four suspected cases at Londonderry Middle School.

Three students and an adult have experienced symptoms, but those cases are still unconfirmed, Greenberg said.

The unidentified Derry resident, an adult, is recovering at home, according to Kris Neilsen, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Greenberg said the health department would visit the school today and assess the situation.

Two of the suspected cases — both students — were kept home by their parents, who also notified the school, Greenberg said.

The other student was picked up at school. The ill adult at the school went home.

No information is available on how the virus may have spread to the school, said Steve Young, chairman of the Londonderry School Board.

The student sent home had several swine flu symptoms, Greenberg said. The teachers have been monitoring students for signs of illness, and the vigilance helped quickly isolate the two cases at the school, he said.

Greenberg sent an e-mail message to parents yesterday about the suspected cases and also posted the information on the district's Web site.

Neilsen would not confirm if state health officials are investigating the Londonderry cases.

"We are testing throughout the state, but we're not saying where," Neilsen said. "As schools call us, we do take surveillance action."

Schools initially report cases as respiratory illnesses, which aren't necessarily swine flu, she said. If they are identified as probable swine flu cases, however, the health department will make the information public.

As a matter of policy, the department is not saying if any other area schools are reporting swine flu symptoms.

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