I called our local health depertment this morning to get information on the regular flu and swine flu shots. As of this time, they have received no serum. They are hoping to receive notice soon that the vaccinations are on their way to Wichita County. They order the serum last February.
Normally, they urge people to have their regular flu shots in October however with the very real threat of swine flu, they are going to want people to get them sooner than later. They are expecting that people will need two swine flu shots. They do not expect any shortages of either the regular or the swine flu vaccinations. However, people in select groups will probably receive the first vaccinations. Those groups include pregnant women, people aged 5 through 24 and anyone who has major health issues already, f.e., heart, lung, cancer, compromised immune systems, etc. or people who live with of care for children younger than 6 months of age and health care and emergency personnel. Here in Wichita County, if you have any questions, please call the Wichita County Health Center at 375-2222 or the Health Department, 375-2289.
I think that most Americans are concerned in one way or another about Swine Flu and for good reason. It is expected by government officials that It is believed that as much as 40% of all our population (that would translate into 1.1 million Kansans alone) are going tobe sickened by the H1N1 Virus within the next 2 years. Scary, huh? The Ks. Dept. Of Health and Environment believes that there have already been 10,000 cases in the United States just in the past 4 months based on the federal government's estimations nationwide. Here in Kansas, 281 cases have been detected through blood tests. These numbers will increase in the next weeks and months.
Because of the fact that there are approximately 450,000 students in pulblic schools statewide, it was found that 53% of the reported and confirmed cases were Kansans who were aged 5 through 25. The federal Centers for Disease Control has identified children and young adults as one of the high-priority groups for vaccations.
It has been determined that because of the high amount of children who could become affected by Swine Flu, authorities now believe that nurses should go to the schools to vaccinate all students. Of course, no student would be vaccanated if his/her parents do not sign the consent forms. It is believed that each person would need two shots. Some school districts will begin vaccinations next Wednesday, August 19th.
A statewide health conference has been scheduled for October 21st so that all health officials can discuss what needs to be done in preparation for the influx of the Swine Flu.
In the meantime, EVERYONE needs to practice GOOD hand washing hygiene. Of course, SOAP is a must. In public areas, paper towels or heated air should be provided instead of cloth towels.
In school, students, teachers and staff should put a kleenex between their mouth and their hand whenever sneezing or coughing.
Sick students, teachers and staff should remain home for at least 24 hours AFTER they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever.
Clean all sufaces often where frequent hand contact takes place. F.E., desks, doorknobs, keyboards or pens with a cleaning agent.
In schools, the sick should be moved to a room set aside only for the ill. Then the sick person should wear a surgical mask until they arrive at home with their parents. That includes when going to clinics and/or hospitals.
If a person is exhibiting symptoms of swine flu, they need to receive IMMEDIATE medical evaluation.
Finally, keep up to date on what is going on with your local health officials' updates.
The Center for Disease Control is encouraging EVERYONE to receive both regular and swine flu vaccines. They are expecting the 2009-2010 flu season will be worse than before. Once the first swine flu vaccination is given, the second one should be given 21 days later.