As Voice of America News reveals, public schools across the country are preparing for the potentially pandemic spread of H1N1 among their elementary, middle, and high school students. In fact, "Health experts say the illness poses a special risk to schools, which are set to re-open at the start of the flu season."
In addition to plans to inoculate all children, many public schools are implementing even more preventative measures. As the Cincinnati Community Press reveals, local Cincinnati schools have established close communications with the Center for Disease Control and Hamilton County General Health District, and the goal is to help their schools stay ahead of the H1N1 virus. Based upon these discussions, many school nurses have been charged with teaching children about preventative strategies, which commonly include:
- Proper hand washing
- Refraining from touching the eyes, nose and other mucus membranes
- Avoiding contact with peers or teachers who may be ill and have the flu
- Regularly cleaning desks, door knobs, table surfaces, and other commonly used areas
- Enforcing consistent health etiquette habits, including covering one's mouth while coughing and covering one's nose while sneezing
Will Nassau County Schools' attempt to stymie H1N1 work? Only time will tell. As Dr. Holly Phillips of WCBS evaluates, "Hysteria should be avoided, but it's good that the school district is emphasizing keeping kids safe. Not touching won't prevent transmission. The virus can live on surfaces and be transmitted via coughs and sneezes."