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Obama Administration Might Recommend Three Flu Shots for Americans This Fall
Date:5/5/2009

outbreak of swine flu appears similar to the seasonal flu in its severity, so schools across the nation should remain open and any schools that did close should reopen.

This announcement marked a change from the previous guidance, which recommended that affected schools close for at least two weeks. The U.S. Education Department has said that more than 430 schools have been closed nationwide because of flu fears, affecting about 245,000 children.

Students who are sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least a week, officials cautioned.

"The good news is that while that guidance recognizes the fast transmission, the end result has been a more mild version of the disease than was originally feared and the lethality seems at a much less significant level," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during an afternoon press conference. "So, there is new guidance being put out that will recommend that schools cease closing with affected cases."

The change in guidance does not mean that scientists know much more now than they did before about what the virus will do, Sebelius stressed. "We don't know what will happen over the course of the summer, and we certainly don't know what will happen when we get back into the [fall] flu season," she said.

"We are learning more about the H1N1 virus every day," Sebelius said. "We know there will be more cases and, unfortunately, there are likely to be more hospitalizations and more deaths. We are working as fast as we can to stay ahead of this disease."

Although the flu is milder than thought, it continues to spread throughout the country and many more cases are expected.

As of Tuesday there were 1,105 probable and confirmed cases across 44 states, Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a teleconference. "There are over 700 probable cases and 403 confirmed cases. The con
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