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The H1N1 Virus and Connecticut’s Schools

Dr. Matthew Cartter, Connecticut’s State Epidemiologist, presented to the State Board of Education Wednesday, on the implications of the H1N1 virus (or Swine Flu) for Connecticut’s public schools. He offered background about the virus and answered questions at the end, as well as focusing on schools.

Watch the section of his presentation where Dr. Cartter focused on the implications of H1N1 for schools in Connecticut – 21 minutes.

Some of the points that Dr. Cartter stressed are as follows:

  • Parents need to keep sick children at home.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home and away from others until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8° C] or greater when measured orally), or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Everyone needs to follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Routine cleaning of doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces during the school day will help prevent the spread of the virus.  There is no need, however, for extensive cleaning of school buildings at the end of the day, as the virus can only survive on surfaces for a few hours.
  • Free vaccination clinics for students will likely be held in schools starting at the beginning of November.  Most likely two doses will be required, three to four weeks apart.

For more information visit: Connecticut’s Flu Watch Site , the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service’s Flu.gov and the U.S. Department of Education’s H1N1 Flu Information site.

2 Comments
  1. Robert L #

    Possibly included in the 1hr+ speech, but I always hear “Keep the kids home” with nothing about us teachers. My office of 8 teachers has one who comes in when she is transmitably ill. She coughs in the office without covering her cough. Teachers are supposed to be in their classroom before the students so guess who touches the knob first. An (always) open door policy would be helpful.

    September 21, 2009
  2. Robert – certainly the same rules about staying home when sick apply to teachers. Anyone with a fever or flu-like symptoms (including body aches, sore throat, headache or a cough) should stay home. This is especially important this year, and hopefully administrators will stress to staff the importance of not coming to school when sick.

    September 22, 2009

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