CHILDREN and teachers at a primary school were given anti-viral drugs after two cases of swine flu were confirmed.

Tamiflu has been handed out to pupils who have been in direct contact with an affected seven-year-old child at Bentworth Primary, in Bentworth Road, Shepherd’s Bush, in an attempt to curb further infection.

The child’s younger sibling is also infected but was diagnosed on Monday (June 15) before entering the grounds of the nursery school.

Bentworth Primary remains open and children from other classes are not being given anti-viral drugs as the risk of them contracting the illness is believed to be minimal.

Health officials are monitoring the situation and parents are being urged to check for symptoms of the disease, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation earlier this month.

The two affected children are said to have a ‘mild illness’ and are recovering well at home.

Dr Ike Anya, public health consultant at NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, said: “There are cases of swine flu across London, including a number of schoolaged children.

“In the case of schools, it depends on individual assessments of the risks, so there is not a blanket need to close schools or for parents to take children out of school when there is a confirmed case of swine flu.

“We are in a pandemic, so cases will continue to be picked up, but it appears to be a mild flu and the NHS is well equipped to cope. The best way to reduce the risk of catching flu is good basic hygiene, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands regularly.”

Letters have been sent out to all parents with children at Bentworth Primary, advising them of the situation and explaining the decision to keep the school open.

Parent Debra Fowler, 37, of Bentworth Road, said: “We’re not worried about it yet. It’s a bit scary because one or two people have died elsewhere, so you have to be cautious, but they seem to have everything under control and I’m happy for the school to stay open.”

Another Bentworth Road resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Children and elderly people are more vulnerable and I think, given the circumstances, they should shut the school.”

Measures are in place to ensure any outbreak in Hammersmith and Fulham is dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.

Anyone who feels unwell after coming into contact with someone who has swine flu and develops a feverish illness, accompanied by a cough, sore throat, headache or muscle aches, should avoid visiting their GP or hospital, and instead telephone their GP, or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

See for more information.