As you know, a doctor in Italy reads my blog. She is so very kind and knowledgeable! She became concerned last week when she heard of the fact that the flu has taken over our lives here. The closing of the schools, nursing home and thrift shop really made her happy. Until measures are taken like this, we have little chance of getting people well again anytime soon.
I was sooo impressed when I found out that she actually took time out of her very busy schedule to actually call the Kansas Health Department in Topeka , not once but a few times. She explained to them that we are very sick out here and have had very little seasonal vaccine and NO H1N1 serum to date. The last time that she spoke with them, they assured her that a shipment was currently peing processed for shipment to us. We owe her ALOT of gratitude!!! She really got the ball rolling for us! I doubt if someone without a degree in medical science could have been even taken seriously.
They also told her that Walgreens in Garden City has the serum now. I have been told that each vaccination is $25.00.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the U.S. now has 55 million students and 7 million staff on board in more than 130,000 private and public schools in the U.S. each day. That is the equivalent of 1/5th of our total United States' total population. Therefore, when epidemics hit the school system, a sizeable amount of people are effected. Then, those people go on to spread the virus outside of the schools' doors. Very scary, huh???
Here is some advice that ALL of us should be following at this time:
1. The ill students should be seperated from the other students and staff immediately as soon as the symptoms appear. Some schools have designated a room just for people with flu-like symptoms. Those people who are ill and the people who are dealing with them in that room should wear surgical masks as long as they are in the school.
2. EVERYSONE should wash their hands OFTEN with soap and keep their hands away from their faces. When a person sneezes or coughs, they should use a shirt sleeve, tissues or the inside of their elbow.
3. School staff and we at home should frequently clean with the same products that we normally use. The CDC does NOT believe that we should be using additional disinfection and environmental surface products. We just need to clean more often than normal.
4. High-risk individuals, the pregnant, heart and lung patients, people with cancer, etc., should speak with their health care providers EARLY AS SOON AS FLU SYMPTOMS FIRST APPEAR!!! Early treatment with anti-viral medicines can and do save lives.
5. Schools can be closed down when high numbers of students and staff become ill. School boards are responsible for making that decision. Whenever high numbers of students, staff are sick with the flu, it is probably a good idea if screenings of each person who walks through the doors be done. High risk students/staff should stay at home until the virus moves on down the road.
ANY STUDENT WHO HAS SICK MEMBERS WITH FLU AT THEIR HOMES, SHOULD NOT GO TO SCHOOL EVEN IF THEY, THEYMSELVES, FEEL GOOD!!! ONCE THE FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE BEEN SICK FOR 5 DAYS, IT IS OKAY FOR THAT STUDENT TO RETURN TO SCHOOL.
People who have had flu symptoms should not return to school or the public, in general, for at least 7 days after they became sick EVEN IF THEY ARE NO LONGER HAVING ANY SYMPTOMS.
When it is determined that school should be cancelled because of illness, it should not resume for 5-7 calendar days, not school days, until the flu's severity has passed.
I hope that this information is helpful for you.