My topic is the H1N1 Virus. As many of us know we are all feeling the effects of this disease one way or another. Some have had it, others know someone who has it, and others may have to find a babysitter because their child’s school has been closed due to the illness. H1N1 is now the culprit for some many schools closing, sometimes for a period of a whole week. Because of this virus many people are becoming more health conscious. Now it is not uncommon to see hand sanitizer everywhere, and also more people are staying home if they are feeling any symptoms because they don’t want to infect others. This illness has created such a medical scare. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there has been forty-six states reporting widespread activity of this virus (as of October 17).
H1N1 virus is a relatively new virus. This virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. It is not only infecting people in the United States, but it is spreading from person to person worldwide. On June 11, 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of the 2009 H1N1 Flu was underway.
This disease has became extremely prevalent. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Fluview” forty – six states reported geographically widespread influenza activity. During the week of October 11-17, 2009 there has been 4,855 positive specimens of influenza, this number is about 37.5% of all specimens tested. The most frightening fact, in my opinion is pediatric deaths have also increased with eleven total influenza deaths and nine specifically from H1N1.
It was once called “swine flu” because lab testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs, which are also known as swine, in North America. However, further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.
The CDC’s statement on school dismissal is this, “School and health officials should work closely to balance the risks of flu in their community with the disruption dismissals will cause in both education and the wider community. The length of time schools should be dismissed will vary depending on the type of dismissal as well as the severity and extent of illness. Schools that dismiss students should do so for five to seven calendar days and should reassess whether or not to resume classes after that period. Schools that dismiss students should remain open to teachers and staff so they can continue to provide instruction through other means.
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that President Obama has declared H1N1 a national emergency. By doing this it allows greater flexibility in treating patients and hospitals to set up off-site emergency rooms to accommodate possible overflow. Availability and demand of the vaccine can be unpredictable. Initially there is some possibility the vaccine will be available in limited quantities. Committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5-18 who have chronic medical conditions.
The CDC has issued a few recommendations for schools in 2009 -2010 school year. Stay home when sick, Separate ill students and staff, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, routine cleaning, early treatment of high-risk students and staff, consideration of selective school dismissal.About 55 million students and 7 million staff attend the more than 130,000 public and private schools in the United States each day. By implementing these recommendations, schools and health officials can help protect one-fifth of the country’s population from flu.
The group being hit the hardest because of this virus is education. Anything that can be done needs to be done so people, mainly children do not obtain this virus. Everyone needs to become more health conscious and think about the consequences health wise for every action. If you do become sick think about others and stay at home so other people do not become sick too. The biggest thing we can do is get vaccinated not only so we don’t get the virus, but that way nobody else will become infected because of us.
Education is Taking the Biggest Hit<br />Classrooms<br />Students<br />Virus can spread<br />Insurance?<br />Conspirator<br />
Should we close the school?<br />Schools should work with officials<br />Think of the students<br />Effect on Community<br />Allow healthy staff in school <br />
Some Disagree With Closing<br />Students left home alone<br />Missing Shifts<br />Missing Meals<br />Education<br />
Is Anything Being Done For It?<br />National Emergency<br />Flexibility<br />Off-Site Emergency Rooms<br />Accommodate Possible Overflow<br />Vaccine<br />Pregnant Women<br />People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months<br />Anyone with direct patient contact<br />Children 6 months – 4 years<br />Children 5-18 with chronic medical conditions<br />
Recommendations for Schools<br />Stay home when sick<br />Separate ill students from staff<br />Hand hygiene<br />Respiratory etiquette<br />Routine Cleaning<br />Early Treatment<br />Consideration of School Dismissal<br />abundantc<br />
What Can We Do?<br />Education<br />Think about your health<br />Stay Home!<br />Get Vaccinated <br />
References<br />2009 H1N1 Flu. (2009, October 23). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/<br />Phillips, Z. (2009). School risk managers consider options as concerns over swine flu virus grow. Business Insurance, 43(18). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from FirstSearch. <br />Pig Photo: <br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/jm999uk/187980686/<br />President Obama Declares H1N1 a ‘National Emergency’ . (2009, October 26). The New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://h1n1.nejm.org/?p=1040#more-1040<br />School Photo:<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/conspirator/31355171/<br />Sneezing Photo:<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcfarlandmo/4014611539/<br />Washing Hands Photo:<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/abundantc/3734444170/<br />Virus Photo: <br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/3493605443/<br />