A 12-year-old student at a local Jewish day school has contracted and recovered from what may be the first case of swine flu in Philadelphia's Jewish community.
Jay Leberman, headmaster of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School, sent a letter to parents June 5, reporting that a male student at the Robert Saligman Middle School in Elkins Park, had been "confirmed as having the human infection of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus," more commonly known as swine flu. Leberman's letter, which did not mention the student's name or grade, stated that the case was reported as confirmed by the State Health Laboratory on June 4.
"We have a student diagnosed with it, he recovered and is back in school. It's as simple as that," said the headmaster in a phone interview. He added that the school was closely following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the Montgomery County Health Department, and that the school would not be closed.
"The important human factor here is that no one is in danger, in the sense that the child is fine," said Leberman. "Parents need to continue to use common sense, and if they have questions or suspicions if their kids have flu-like symptoms, they need to contact their physician."
Pennsylvania has had 361 confirmed cases of the virus and 61 probable cases, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Web site. According to the Associated Press, a 55-year-old woman in Berks County was Pennsylvania's first swine-flu death. She died on June 4.
Nationally, 13,000 cases have been reported, resulting in 27 deaths.