Will New School Year Bring New H1N1 Cases?

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As September approaches will the new school year bring an increase in new H1N1 cases? School age children are some of the most susceptible to the H1N1 flu. There is no vaccination available for the H1N1 flu.

Arguments are being made that H1N1 flu vaccine should be fast-tracked to coincide with the school openings. Fast-tracking could make the vaccinations available in mid-September. The National Biodefense Safety Board (NBSB) made that recommendation on Friday by a unanimous vote.

The most susceptible to the H1N1 flu have been infants, toddlers, school-age children, pregnant women, and adults with risk factors for severe flu disease. Vaccinations would target this group first.

It looks very much like the beginning of school will bring new cases of the H1N1 flu. Experts expect a second wave of the pandemic to occur and estimate the second wave to occur in the fall, peaking in October. This means onset of the second wave would be in early September, coinciding with the onset of school.

For now it is best to try to prevent expose to the H1N1 flu. Here are some tips on protecting yourself.

  • Remember influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.

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1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

4. Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.

Sources
Swine Flu Symptoms
CDC Swine Flu Updates
World Health Organization
WebMD Swine Flu Center

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