New info from CDC

Nurses COVID

Published

http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/stories/wfaa090505_wz_swinefluschools.20b90046.html

here is an exerpt:

The Centers for Disease Control says schools in the U.S. no longer have to close because of swine flu.

"We've seen an exponential growth in our understanding of what's going on," said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, at an Atlanta news conference Tuesday. "We're seeing severity that mirrors what we see with seasonal flu."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said new guidance to schools was being issued Tuesday afternoon. "The schools should be comfortable in reopening," she said. "Keep the affected students home for a seven-day period."

"The big focus is on identifying children who are ill," Dr. Besser said. He said parents should ensure that they don't send children to school who are sick.

Aneroo, LPN

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Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

Good!

indigo girl

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http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/K12_dismissal.htm

I would imagine that many parents, especially single parents are breathing a sigh of relief. Having to miss work to care for their children was the only option some would have if the kids were not in school. Extended school closure would be a great financial hardship in tough economic times, and I don't doubt that this was part of the decision. I still think that the initial recommendation to close schools with suspected cases was a wise precaution until more was known about viral severity and spread. This public health mitigation strategy is an important one, and may be re-enacted yet again in the future if the situation changes.

So far despite continuing spread, the cases have remained mild in the US., but let us watch how things are going to play out with countries in the southern half of the globe as they move into their regular influenza season. The new normal for the global public health community is now watchful concern.

New information on disease severity and the extent of community spread warrant revision of the school closure guidance. As of May 4, 2009, more than 1000 confirmed or probable cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) have been reported from 44 states, with numerous disease clusters, indicating spread within communities that makes individual school closure less effective as a control measure. Most U.S. cases have not been severe and are comparable in severity to seasonal influenza. CDC and local and state health officials will continue to closely monitor the severity and spread of this novel H1N1 influenza outbreak.

At this time, CDC recommends the primary means to reduce spread of influenza in schools focus on early identification of ill students and staff, staying home when ill, and good cough and hand hygiene etiquette. Decisions about school closure should be at the discretion of local authorities based on local considerations, including public concern and the impact of school absenteeism and staffing shortages.

School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school's ability to function.

indigo girl

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http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/05/20090505a.html

"We appreciate the efforts that communities, particularly school districts, have taken to protect students and staff from this influenza A/H1N1 virus. Communities and schools are at the forefront of protecting people's health, and we are committed to providing them the flexibility they need to deal with local conditions, and the best possible guidance that reflects our most current understanding of the scientific and medical facts.

"Finally, we should add that there are many individuals in our communities - the elderly, the very young, and individuals with suppressed immune systems - for whom influenza represents a potentially lethal threat. The 2009 influenza A/H1N1 virus is likely to circulate widely in our communities, if not now, then almost certainly in the fall. We all have a special responsibility during this time to protect ourselves and protect our neighbors and others in our community by behaving responsibly and doing whatever we can to minimize the spread of disease. A virus that may only cause sniffles and mild inconvenience in one person may put the next into the hospital.

"We have more information on the 2009 H1N1 virus today than we did only one week ago, but much uncertainty remains. We should all be prepared for a potentially rocky influenza season this fall. The Administration and the CDC will continue to actively investigate this outbreak as it unfolds and protect the health of the American public."

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