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Vic: 25 classmates of 15yo boy with swine flu in quarantine

23 May 2009 6:25 PM

MELBOURNE, May 23 AAP - Home quarantine and antiviral drugs have been ordered for 25 classmates of a 15-year-old boy diagnosed as Australia's latest case of swine flu.

A 15-year-old student from Mill Park Secondary College in Melbourne's outer north is Australia's 14th case of swine flu and the ninth case in Victoria.

The group of year nine students were believed to have had "prolonged contact" longer than four hours last week, a spokesman for Victoria's Health Minister Daniel Andrews told AAP.

"We asked them to go into one week home quarantine," the spokesman said.

The students were given antivirals on Saturday and have been advised not to return to school until next Thursday, he said.

The boy is also in home quarantine with his parents and two siblings.

On its school website Mill Park Secondary posted a message saying the boy had had only minimal contact with other students outside his classes while he was infectious.

"For this reason, (Department of Human Services) has advised that no widespread action needs to be taken across the entire school at this time, but the situation will remain under review," the website said.

Health authorities are continuing to investigate how the boy contracted the disease.

He is the third community-acquired case in the state, as he has no recent travel history and has had no contact with travellers.

"He, like a number of the other cases we spoke about yesterday, has no travel history or any link to anyone else who has a travel history," Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

The boy had also had no known contact with the other eight confirmed swine flu cases in the state.

All confirmed cases in Victoria so far have been "fairly mild" in keeping with the normal winter flu and haven't required hospitalisation, he said.

Victorian acting chief health officer Rosemary Lester said authorities would need to have detailed discussions with the Mill Park Secondary principal and staff before deciding whether to close the school.

In Victoria swine flu testing has resulted in 136 negative tests, with 17 test results due for release on Sunday.

Apart from Victoria's nine confirmed swine flu cases, there have been two in NSW, two in South Australia and one in Queensland.