WASHINGTON — Closing schools and day care centers because of swine flu could cost between $10 billion and $47 billion, a report by the Brookings Institution think tank found.

The government is urging schools to close only as a last resort, such as when large numbers of kids or staffers come down with swine flu.

But in the month since classes began, many schools have closed. As of Monday, there had been at least 187 school dismissals across the country affecting at least 79,678 students, the Education Department said.

The report issued Wednesday by Brookings’ Center on Social and Economic Dynamics estimated that the cost of closing all schools in the U.S. for four weeks would be between $10 billion to $47 billion. Brookings called that a conservative estimate.

Keeping kids home from school would require parents to stay home from work too, and some of those parents are health care workers, the report said.

The report also said:

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Canada
•  Canadian pharma seeks H1N1 flu victims for research (Link)
•  Seasonal shot gets OK (Link)
•  As flu hits Ontario, province calls for vaccine rush (Link)

France
•  Early estimates of 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus activity in general practice in France(Link)

India
•  H1N1 mortality rate higher in India (Link)

Ireland
•  2 women with ‘ high-risk conditions’ deceased (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Swine flu ‘could still shoot up’ (Link)
•  Scotland: Tenth swine flu victim reported (Link)
•  ‘Swine flu’ patient moved from NI (Link)

United States
•  US: Report: Flu might fill up hospitals in 15 states (Link)
•  US: Majority of U.S. Parents Wary of H1N1 Vaccine: Poll  (Link)
•  Swine Flu Spreading Widely; Worry Over Pregnant Women (Link
•  CA: H1N1 Virus Closes School for a Day (Link)
•  FL: Flu “and colds” outbreak closes Bishop McLaughlin High (Link)
•  GA: Georgia confirms death of school girl (Link)
•  GA: 2nd grade elementary school girl (Link)
•  ID: Flu strikes area schools (Link)
•  MI: Q & A with University of Michigan Chief Health Officer (Link)
•  MN: Swine flu doubled in a week in Minnesota schools (Link)
•  NM: One student and one infant confirmed deceased from H1N1  (Link)
•  NV: Washoe reports 79 new swine flu cases  (Link)
•  OH: Kent State U confirms H1N1 case (Link)
•  OK: Moore Public Schools has cases  (Link)
•  OK: Coweta schools see spike in absences (Link)
•  OR: Oregon expecting plenty of H1N1 flu vaccine (Link)
•  OR: U of O – about 100 cases in two weeks (Link)
•  PA: 2,500 cases of H1N1 (Link)
•  SC: Ft. Jackson soldier DID perish from H1N1, 1st officially in Army (Link)
•  TX: Collinsville ISD closes schools due to high absences (Link)
•  TX: U of Tx employee death (Link, link and link)
•  TX: Dallas, seasonal flu vaccine shortage (Link)
•  TX: H1N1 vaccines arriving; pediatric Tamiflu arriving  (Link)
•  TX: 2nd death in Corpus Cristi this week (Link)
•  TX: Follow up article on death of Tyler teen (Link)
•  TX: First round of swine flu vaccine shipped to Texas, other states (Link)
•  TX: One-third of Texans could get H1N1 (Link)
•  TX: More on the Corpus Christi 12 yr old who died (Link)
•  TX: El Paso doctors see surge in patients (Link)
•  VA: death of area man (Link)
•  WA: Nurses file suit over flu shots (Link)
•  WY: Reported flu activity jumps sharply across Wyoming (Link)

Venezuela
•  83 deaths confirmed thus far, 92 cases ‘still’ being investigated  (Link)

General
•  Alert for all pregnant women and mothers-to-be (Link)

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