H1N1 - the latest

October 30, 2009

We're following a number of swine flu developments this morning. Long lineups at clinics all over the country, reassurances from health officials that there will be enough vaccine, and this story from New Brunswick:

Five schools in the St. George, N.B., area will be closed on Friday due to swine flu, and some of them won't reopen until next Wednesday.

Too many bus drivers are off sick to transport the students and too many teachers are sick to safely supervise them, said Valerie Kilfoil, spokeswoman for the Department of Education.

The affected schools are Fundy High, St. George Elementary, Back Bay, Blacks Harbour and Pennfield Elementary.

Kilfoil could not say how many staff are absent, but the number has been "creeping up."

Up to half of the students at some of the schools are also absent, but it's unclear whether all of them are sick, or if their parents are just keeping them home as a precaution, she said.

"So a decision was made [Thursday] to close the schools to give people that seven days that they need to recover from the flu."

Blacks Harbour and Pennfield will reopen on Monday and Back Bay on Tuesday due to their scheduled swine flu vaccination clinics, Kilfoil said.

"We don't want the students to lose out on the opportunity to get their vaccination."

The other two schools will remain closed until Wednesday, she said.

As of Wednesday, three students in the St. George area had confirmed cases of the swine flu and some parents were choosing to keep their children home.

It's not clear how many students in the province have H1N1. The Department of Education is starting to keep records of students who are off sick -- numbers which should be available next week.

For all the latest on the flu, go to cbc.ca/flu

David Michael Lamb

David Michael Lamb

Senior Producer, World Report.