The H1N1 Virus has been of much concern since its first diagnosis in the spring of this year. There have been many regulations passed and revoked as new research is conducted and more is learned about the virus. Throughout the past months there has been a wide spread of confirmed cases of H1N1 Virus and that has caused much concern for school systems and communities.
The H1N1 Virus is a subtype of the influenza virus. Influenza is a common virus that usually occurs seasonally and produces flu like symptoms. The H1N1 is very similar in that fashion.
The first confirmed case in the United States was in April 2009. The rapid spread of the virus has caused major concerns as little was known about this strand of influenza. The spreading has occurred all over the globe and is being considered a pandemic.
Initially it was believed that the virus was passed from pig or swine to humans because it looked similar to a strand of influenza that has been found in pigs in North America. Further research revealed that this subtype was not the same as the virus found in the pigs.
With the mass concern of the spread of the H1N1 virus and its effects the government initially told school to temporarily shut down if there was a confirmed case.
Initially it was believed that this virus was going to be a killer causing mass concern and panic. This led to drastic action. The government did not want this virus to spread therefore the Center of Disease Control (CDC) urged schools to close temporarily if a case of H1N1 was diagnosed. This lead to massive school closings, eventually reaching a peak number of 726 schools closed on May 5th reaching across over 24 states and Washington D.C.
School closings where causing many problems. One problem was the interference of spring standardized testing. This caused many problems with school funding as it created conflict on accountability between the state and federal governments. Standardized testing is a significant determinant as to how much funding that school is going to receive from both state and federal governments. Struggles continued as the “No Child Left Behind” Act requires schools to have 95% participation when administering a standardized test. Research has projected that if all schools in the United States shut down for 4 weeks it would cost the nation up to $47 billion in lost work and school time.
The staggering number of school closings and its effects caught the attention of the government. As people and researchers began to realized that the H1N1 Virus was not as harmful as first believed the CDC asked that schools not turn to closing as an option except under extreme circumstances.
A vaccine for the H1N1 Virus has been produced to help control the spread of the virus as well as contain the concern surrounding it. The vaccine is a new product and there has been some controversy about it. Research has yet to be able to confirm its effectiveness so there are many people wondering if it is worth getting.
As of now the vaccine has some side effects which include mild flu like symptoms and itchy or sore red eyes. The mass media surrounding the virus has been the main reason for people to get this controversial vaccine.
New research and evidence has shown that the H1N1 Virus is not as worrisome as first believed. Most diagnosed cases result in a full recovery, because of this new knowledge schools are no longer turning to shut downs if a single students contracts it. Schools are now emphasizing more sanitary practices such as washing hands and other sanitation precautions.
Power Point H1 N1
The H1N1 Virus and Education<br />By: Aaron Tuuk<br />
The Virus and Schools Today<br />Many schools have been effected<br />Major concern for families and school districts alike<br />Author: massdistraction; February 21, 2007<br />
What is the H1N1 Virus?<br />The H1N1 Virus is a new form of the influenza virus<br />The influenza virus causes flu like symptoms and usually happen seasonally<br />Author: AjC1; May 2, 2009<br />
When, Where…Now?<br />The first case of the H1N1 strand of influenza in the United States was diagnosed in April 2009<br />The rapid spread of the virus is causing a pandemic and has reached global proportion<br />Author: John LeGear; July 2, 2007<br />
Why is it called “Swine Flu?”<br />Researchers believed that the genes in the H1N1 virus were very similar to those found in the influenza virus found in pigs (swine) in North America<br />Author: The Pug Father; March 20, 2007<br />
School Closings<br />Federal health officials originally told schools to shut down if there were any confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus<br />Author: Dean Terry; June 10, 2005<br />
How Bad Did It Get?<br />May 1, 2009- 435 Schools Closed<br />May 5, 2009- 726 Schools Closed<br />Virus reached 24 states and the District of Columbia<br />Author: nDevilTV; May 1, 2009<br />
At What Cost?<br />School closings caused disruption of standardized testing which effected state-federal accountability<br />“No Child Left Behind”<br />New research suggests that a nation wide school closing could cost the U.S. up to $47 billion<br />Author: borman818 February 6, 2009<br />
Federal Opinion <br />May 5, 2009-Federal officials changed their opinion after they realized the virus was more milder than first realized<br />Author: dcJohn; January 4, 2005<br />
H1N1 Vaccine<br />Vaccine has been controversial<br />Little has been proven about its effectiveness<br />Author: Madmoiselle Lavender; October 20, 2009 <br />
Vaccine Side Effects<br />Can cause mild flu like symptoms<br />Can cause itchy/sore red eyes<br />Author: diabolikkitsuney; August 23, 2007<br />
Schools Today <br />Schools today are not told to commit to a total shut down if a single student contracts the virus<br />Schools are just told to take precautionary measures including the emphasis on washing hands and other mild sanitation<br />Author: cafemama; April 2, 2006<br />
Resources<br />“School Closings for Flu Could be Expensive,” Thomas H. Maugh II, LATimes.com<br />"Swine Flu Disruption Has School Officials Looking for Lessons,” Erik Robelen, FirstSearch.org<br />"H1N1 Flu & U.S. Schools: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” The U.S. Department of Education, FirstSearch.org<br />All Images are from Flickr.com<br />