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.
Yesterday, health officials released some information about the Derry individual but did not provide further details because coworkers are not at risk, Neilsen said.
The person is employed in New Hampshire but was not on the job while contagious, she said.
No schools are connected to this case, Neilsen said.
The health department is continuing to stress the importance of frequent hand washing and covering coughs with a sleeve to stop the spread of flu. Yesterday's announcement by the state also repeated the advice to stay home if ill and keep children out of school if they are sick.
Area schools began taking special precautions this week when students returned to classes after their traditional spring break.
At Pinkerton Academy in Derry, at least 1,645 students were screened by school nurses over a two-day period to make sure they had not contracted swine flu after they reported leaving the state for spring vacation.
The Derry resident is the state's seventh probable case. New Hampshire has two confirmed cases. Both people are workers at Concord Hospital.
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