Hamilton's Public Health Services has confirmed an H1N1 outbreak at an elementary school in nearby Stoney Creek, as well as a possible outbreak at a private school in the city.

Michelle Baird, the manager of the infectious diseases program, won't say how many children are ill, but says a "significant cluster" of cases have been identified at St. Mark's Catholic Elementary School.

The city's health unit has also confirmed an influenza A outbreak at Columbia International College, a private boarding school in Hamilton.  

Baird says it is likely that those cases are also swine flu, but further testing is required before anything can be confirmed.

Baird says both schools remain open and there are no plans to suspend classes. "That is not a recommendation from us at this point. They're not closing schools, they're not cancelling classes. They're just continuing as usual. They're just excluding ill children or staff from the school."

While a flu outbreak this early in the fall is somewhat unusual, Baird says public health officials saw some H1N1 cases through the summer and were anticipating outbreaks once students returned to school.

"We've been seeing some community cases of H1N1 during the summer months, and with school back, and people are gathering close together, and students are together in school, it's not unanticipated that this would happen," said Baird.

All of the illnesses at both schools are relatively minor and so far none of the students require hospitalization.