Pink eye extends school closures in American Samoa

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Associated Press

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 11:03 PM

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — American Samoa is keeping most schools closed for the rest of the week as the U.S. territory tries to contain a pink eye outbreak that has affected about 2,300 students, disrupted court hearings and kept some passengers from boarding flights.

All 28 public schools were scheduled to reopen Wednesday after shutting down Friday. But only four schools in the remote island group of Manua reopened. Officials in American Samoa, a group of islands in the South Pacific, will keep schools on the main island of Tutuila shuttered until next week.

Education Department director Salu Hunkin-Finau says more than 30 percent of teachers are on sick leave because of the common eye condition that can be extremely contagious.

Territory health officials say the outbreak is a nuisance but not very dangerous.

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