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Texas Officials Report 2nd Swine Flu Death in U.S.
Date:5/5/2009

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say there's no longer a need to close schools due to outbreak

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A Texas woman who lived along the U.S.-Mexico border and had chronic health problems died this week after contracting swine flu, state health officials said Tuesday.

The death of the woman, who lived in Cameron County, the southernmost county in the state, was "the first death of a Texas resident with H1N1 flu," state health officials said. No other details were available, the Washington Post reported.

Last week, a 23-month-old boy from Mexico, who also had underlying health problems, died from the swine flu illness in a Houston hospital. He was the first fatality in the United States from the current swine flu outbreak.

Meanwhile, U.S. health officials said Tuesday that the 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
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