Today’s news:

Two more BK schools shutter in the face of swine flu fears

Suspected swine flu slammed the doors shut on two Red Hook schools this week.

Upon the recommendation of the city’s Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Education closed Public School 15, 71 Sullivan Street, on June 3, along with the PAVE Academy Charter School, which is housed in the same building.

The DOH said the decision was made after “an unusually high amount of influenza−like illness over a number of days” was documented.

Health officials said a total of 20 students were documented with influenza−like illness on Monday and Tuesday.

The schools will reopen on Monday, June 8.

Since April, more than 300 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with swine flu, according to the DOH. At press time, none of the currently shuttered schools have documented cases of swine flu, also known as the H1N1 flu virus, according to reports.

So far, the most common risk factor in New York City has been asthma – an underlying risk factor among 41 percent of the New Yorkers hospitalized for swine flu, according to the DOH. Other important risk factors, the agency said, include being less than 2 years of age (18 percent of hospitalized patients), having a compromised immune system (13 percent), having heart disease (12 percent), or being pregnant. The DOH recommends that people with asthma, or any of the other conditions listed here, to call a doctor right away if they develop flu−like illness.

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