Updated: Thursday, 30 Apr 2009, 6:01 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 30 Apr 2009, 6:01 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - One of Indianapolis' most well known philanthropists has a
direct connection to the flu outbreak in Mexico City.
Christel Dehaan runs a school there with 381 students. In 2007, 24-Hour News 8 traveled to the Christel House Learning Center in Mexico City. The shining gem sparkled in the neighborhood where it was built. The kinds of kids that attend the Christel House live in tremendous poverty.
Earlier this week, Dehaan received some bad news. She learned H1N1 flu also known as swine flu had touched some relatives of students.
"We have had a situation. Where two children who were cared for by other family members fell ill, were taken to the hospital and diagnosed with swine flu. Subsequently, both of those family members have passed away," said Cheryl Wendling, Vice President of Christel House International.
Again, no student has come down with the virus but family members became infected.
"The children have been moved to another environment, we've taken them to the hospital. They have been checked by medical personnel, and so far all is fine," said Cheryl.
Christel House is closed, like all schools in Mexico City, and isn't expected to reopen until May 6. The school has a full time nurse, and a mother's organization to help keep parents informed.
Staff is working from home and the school has been thoroughly cleaned.
"Actually we have already sanitized the entire facility, the day after they closed all schools down, we had our cleaning crew in there with soap water and sanitizing," said Cheryl.
Christel House Learning Center has been open for 11 years now, teaching children there everything from computers to music to language.
Authorities checked two students from the school for the swine flu virus. Tests came back negative.