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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Murmansk School Closed After Swine Flu Sickens 19

A school in the Murmansk region was closed after 19 children were sickened with swine flu contracted from a third-grader who had vacationed in Turkey, health officials said Thursday.

“Nineteen cases of the H1N1 flu were registered among the students of School No. 1 of the Kolsky district of the Murmansk region from Sept. 18 to 23,” the Federal Consumer Protection Service said in a statement.

Sixteen of the children had direct contact with a boy in the third grade who had vacationed with his father in Turkey from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6, the service said.  The father has also contracted swine flu, also known as H1N1.

Local health workers examined the boy on his return but failed to take his temperature, service chief Gennady Onishchenko said.

The school will remain closed through the weekend to be disinfected.

Russia has reported nearly 400 cases of swine flu since the outbreak started, killing 3,500 people worldwide.

Health officials said earlier this week that the first Russian to die of swine flu passed away in August. But they later said she had died of pneumonia, even though she had contracted swine flu.

Apparently acting on the initial information, the World Health Organization on Wednesday listed Russia among the 15 European countries to register swine flu deaths. The Federal Consumer Protection Service demanded that Russia be removed and accused the WHO of getting its information from media reports. WHO spokeswoman Liuba Negru denied the allegation. “We took the information from the Federal Consumer Protection Service’s report,” she said. She added that the WHO would remove Russia from the list.