The swine flu outbreak has led to numerous precautionary school closures in several countries. Rather than closing schools, the CDC recommended in August that students and school workers with flu symptoms should stay home for either seven days total, or until 24 hours after symptoms suicide-whichever is longer. The CDC also recommended that colleges should consider suspending fall 2009 classes if the virus begins to cause severe illness in a significantly larger share of students than last spring. They have additionally urged schools to suspend any rules, including penelizing late papers or missed classes, or requiring a doctor’s note, to enforce “self-isolation” and prevent students from venturing out while they wait to go home that surgical masks be used for ill students or staff and those caring for them.

In California, school districts and universities are on alert and working with health officials to launch education campaigns. Many planned to stockpile medical supplies and discuss worst-case scenarios, including plans to provide lessons and meals for low-income children in case elementary and secondary schools close. University of California campuses were stockpilling supplies, from paper masks and hand sanitizer to food and water. To help prepare for contingencies, University of Maryland School of Medicine professor of pediatrics. James C.King Jr. suggests that every country should create an “influenza action team” to be run by the local health department, parents, and school administrators. As of 28 October 2009, about 600 Schools in the United States have been temporarily closed, affecting over 126,00 students in 19 states.

US government officials are especially concerned about schools because the swine flu virus appears to disproportionately affect young and school -age people, between age 6 months to 24 years of age, making them one of the top priority groups when it comes to the new vaccine. They state that the most important actions are to encourage and facilitate good hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, flu vaccinations for people at risk; and to separate from healthy people as soon as possible.


About this entry