H1N1 in Your School

The best prevention and protection

11/20/2009  |  BRITTANY SLATER

Your students’ health is a big deal to you, and it should be a big deal to your school. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has said that possibly 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, mostly among young children and young adults, could occur within the year. Up to as many as 300,000 may even need intensive care treatment at hospitals. Since the virus was first discovered during the spring, over 100 countries have been introduced to the H1N1 virus, causing the classification of PANDEMIC.Vaccines are now available, but are they your only defense?

What is H1N1?

The H1N1 influenza, also known as Swine Flu, is a virus that is unlike any other. Researchers believe that this version of the influenza virus is a mutation or combination of the common Swine Flu (H1N1) and Bird Flu (H5N1) viruses. This mutated virus is the first known multi-specie virus to infect humans.This is a large cause for concern because no prior influenza vaccine was effective against the virus.Also, the pattern of infection is different than what was expected; whereas the common flu virus tends to affect the elderly and young children, the majority of people infected with the H1N1 virus were between the ages of 5 and 24. Additionally, the H1N1 virus continued its rampage well into the warmer months, which is inconsistent to the common flu. Lastly, it has been discovered that the H1N1 virus is not contagious via airborne virus particles but instead through physical contact.

How Do I Protect Myself?

The CDC has strongly recommended that the following five groups receive the H1N1 vaccines as soon as they are tested for safety and are available to the public:

  • Pregnant women,
  • People who live with, or provide care for children younger than six months of age,
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel
  • People between six months and 24 years of age
  • People from the ages of 25 and 64 who are at higher risk because of chronic health disorders such as asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

With or without the vaccine it is imperative that everyone washes his or her hands frequently throughout the day. Germs are spread through touch.A person can touch a seemingly clean desk, counter or doorknob and get the virus on the hands, and then a quick rub of the eyes, nose or mouth and it is in their system ready to infect the body. It is that simple, and that is why handwashing is so important.This prevents many germs and viruses from gaining entry to a body, not only H1N1.

How Can I Protect My Children in School?

It is crucial in a school setting to make sure students and teachers have access to hand washing items at all times. Protection control units, such as the Classroom Caddy™ from Armor Healthcare, are infection control units that contains everything the CDC recommends to defend against the spread of H1N1 and other potentially harmful germs.

For more information visit www.armorhealthcare.com, www.cdc.gov and www.who.int.
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