H1N1 case confirmed

After listening and seeing for many months the spread of the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) across the nation and the world, the flu has finally hit home: There is a confirmed case of the virus in a student at school.

A letter informing teachers and students was distributed at the end of the day on September 29th.The school, district and county health department are recommending students take the necessary flu precaution steps until the flu vaccine arrives. Being cleaner and stopping the spread of germs will prevent further cases of H1N1 from occuring at school.

Many students are unaware to the hidden dangers of the virus. True, more people die annually from the seasonal flu than this new flu so far, but one must look at the age demographics each flu targets. The seasonal flu targets the elderly and newborns with weak immune systems. However, the age group with the most deaths and hospitalizations by H1N1 so far have been healthy teenagers and young adults according to statistics compiled by the national Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Thus, nurses at school, the district and county health department and the CDC website all stress the importance of students to get vaccinated against the virus.

Due to the high rate of cases of the virus in teenagers and young adults, and the fact that schools make for the perfect breeding ground for germs to spread, the district is urging students to get vaccinated.

The fact that the H1N1 vaccine will not be available until October has caused some concern for school nurses.

“[We] don’t know if the timing [of the vaccine] is right, it might be too late [to stop an outbreak],” said nurse Angie Cherven.

The school, district and county health department are recommending students take the necessary flu precaution steps until the vaccine arrives for that reason. Being cleaner and stopping the spread of germs will prevent an outbreak of H1N1 from occurring.

However, nurse Christy Gerling says it is still important to receive a seasonal flu shot in order to stop an outbreak of that flu from occurring while everyone’s attention is focused on the H1N1 flu.

“We strongly recommend getting a normal flu shot as well,” said Gerling.