WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

As swine flu returns, US and European officials consider school closures

LONDON (AP) - Health authorities in the U.S. and Europe are bracing for a major spike in swine flu as schools open for the fall.

Children appear to be more susceptible than adults to swine flu. And crowded, sometimes unsanitary conditions can make schools ideal breading grounds for the virus.

Health authorities say they'll monitor schools closely, but both the U.S. and British governments say they will not close schools except under exceptional circumstances. Experts say while closings might buy time, the number of cases would end up about the same, just spread over a longer period.

But French officials are outlining a different approach. Officials may send an entire class home or even close schools if as few as three students in the same class have flu symptoms within less than a week. The French education minister says the country is ready to broadcast lessons on TV and radio if many schools are closed.

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