Travis Elementary: Flu Central (For Kids, Not Teachers) UPDATED

Even more kids are out at Travis Elementary today, HISD spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls -- of the 712 registered, 378 stayed home today. Another dozen felt sick at school, went to the clinic and were sent home.

Oddly, teachers don't seem to be affected: Only two are out sick. (Another two are home with sick kids.)

Two cases of swine flu have been confirmed.

"We don't know how much of the kids staying out is the concern parents have caused by seeing stories in the media," Uhl says. "But we understand that -- we're parents too."

The plans now are to keep the school open. Some cleaning and sanitizing is going on now, and as soon as the building empties today a large-scale operation will begin.

"We feel pretty confident that parents can feel safe bringing their kids in Monday," Uhl says. "We're hoping to turn a corner on this."

Travis Elementary is in the Woodland Heights. No other schools in HISD have reported a similar outbreak of flu recently, Uhl says.

Update: Confirmed swine-flu cases at Travis now up to 12, the Chron reports.

Update 2: HISD spokeswoman Lisa Kenney tells Hair Balls the school will be closed all next week. "The City of Houston Health Department confirmed 12 cases of H1N1 flu at Travis Elementary.  HISD has decided to close the school and we anticipate re-opening on Tuesday, May 26, after consulting with the City of Houston Health Department," she says.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly