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School Regions Brace For Impact Of Swine Flu

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School systems around the Washington region are bracing for the impact of swine flu this school year. Kathleen Black is the principal at H.D. Cooke Elementary School in Northwest D.C. These days, educators shoulder a number of responsibilities, but they now face a new challenge: the H1N1 virus or swine flu.

Federal officials are warning educators that swine flu could disrupt schools this year. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius toured H.D. Cooke yesterday. Sebelius says her department is working with school officials to develop a vaccination plan for students and others.

In Maryland, the state is putting together a mass vaccination plan, which includes school-age children, particularly elementary school kids. But, the vaccine isn't expected to be ready until mid-October at the earliest.

Dr. Donald Shell is the health officer for Prince Georges County, and he says he has spoken with many school principals already. Shell says at this point, state health officials do not believe the two week closures of entire schools, which happened in the spring, will be necessary in the fall.

Patrick Madden reports...

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