North Side School Shut by Swine Flu

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 29, 2009 2:20PM

Okay, now this is getting kind of serious. This morning, Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman announced that Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park would be closed today and tomorrow due to a 12-year-old student who is home with what is being called a "probable case of swine flu." A sample from the student is being sent to the CDC today for confirmation.

Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Mason defended the closing, saying it was to prevent any further spreading: "When we do this it's the children -- it's not doorknobs, it's not water faucets, it's children sneezing, coughing on each other." Attendance at the predominantly (60 percent) Hispanic school was down yesterday; typical attendance, said Huberman, was around 94 to 96 percent while yesterday attendance was down at 87 percent. Huberman noted, "That's an unusually high absenteeism rate at the school." Dr. Mason said the 12-year-old student is at home, recovering. Meanwhile, yesterday's Indiana case was confirmed as a Notre Dame student.