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Latest update : 2009-07-24

La Salle Saint-Nicolas Catholic school in Issy-les-Moulineaux, just south-west of Paris, has reported 47 cases of influenza A (H1N1) among its largely Spanish students attending the summer language school.

AFP - Forty-seven foreign teenagers, most of them Spanish, have been quarantined at a summer school south of Paris after testing positive for swine flu, the regional prefecture said Wednesday.
"They are mostly young Spaniards, aged 15 to 18," said Henri Welschinger, an official at La Salle Saint-Nicolas Catholic school in Issy-les-Moulineaux, where the group were staying on a language trip.
The 47 cases of A(H1N1) influenza have all been confirmed since Monday, the prefecture said. "None are in a worrying condition," Welschinger said, adding that the teens have been assigned to a single floor of the building.
"There is no reason to be worried. People behave as if it is the plague, but it is only the flu. We just need to take certain precautions," he added.
Town services in Issy have handed out surgical masks to the youths, and the school has been asked not to admit any further students at present, the prefecture said.
France has recorded 793 cases of A(H1N1) swine flu since the end of April, according to the public health monitoring agency, the INVS, but none has proved fatal. Nineteen patients have been hospitalised, three needing intensive care.
The French government has a pandemic strategy in place but has so far stuck to phase 5a of a six-stage alert in light of the limited presence of the virus in France compared to its European neighbours.
Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said Wednesday the government expected to wait until September to move to phase 6 of the pandemic plan, unless the spread of the epidemic speeds up radically in August.
More than 700 people have been killed around the globe by the A(H1N1) virus, which first surfaced in Mexico, and the World Health Organisation has warned that the pandemic is now unstoppable.

Date created : 2009-07-22