ROME - Two Rome high schools have been ordered closed for a week after four students caught the H1N1 flu virus on a school trip to New York, Italy's Health Ministry said on Friday.

Four boys who returned from the United States this week in a group of students and teachers from two schools in central Rome went to hospital after showing flu symptoms. They were later confirmed to have the new strain, also known as swine flu.

Deputy Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio said in a statement the schools would be shut for seven days to avoid further infection. School authorities said they had not yet received orders to send students home.