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Welsh school shuts over swine flu

A Welsh primary school has been shut due to swine flu among pupils and staff.

Pontyberem Community primary school in Carmarthenshire took the decision after a small number of pupils tested positive for the virus.

High levels of staff at the West-Wales school also displayed flu-like symptoms and were off sick as a result. None of them were swabbed or tested.

Headteacher Gareth Owen made the decision to close the school which is believed to be the first to shut because of the virus.

Some of the affected pupils had already recovered and returned to lessons before the decision was made.

The school, which has 168 pupils, is due to reopen after the half-term holiday.

The closure came on the day the Welsh NHS began vaccinating 750,000 people against swine flu.

GPs will be inviting patients in priority groups, including pregnant women and over-65s already in the seasonal flu at-risk group, for jabs during the autumn.

A spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire County Council said: "A decision was taken by the headteacher of Pontyberem CP School to close the school for the remainder of this week for operational reasons because of high levels of staff sickness.

"A high number of pupils have been experiencing flu-like symptoms over the past week or so. A small number of these have been tested for swine flu and were found to be positive."

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