Responding properly to H1N1

By Sara Story - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - While most people have heard of the H1N1 virus, there is still confusion about what action needs to be taken and the virus is not going away any time soon.

"We do have a case and we are aware of it," said Scott Beene, the superintendent of Big Sandy ISD.

At Big Sandy ISD Tuesday, steps were already being taken to keep any other students from getting sick.

"The district is taking steps in sanitizing and then just some tips and pointers that parents can do at home with their kids," said Beene.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District says with H1N1 on the rise, it is important for parents and schools to know the facts. First: there is a big difference between confirmed cases and probable cases of H1N1. Most cases are probable and can be treated like the seasonal flu.

"Confirmed cases only come when the test is sent to a lab - a private lab that is very expensive - or a public health lab, but they are only doing cases on pregnant women, patients who are hospitalized with influenza and deceased patients who had influenza like symptoms," said George Roberts, with the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

No matter if it is confirmed, Roberts says it is time to take action.

"The main thing is: Is the school clean?" said Roberts. "Are they wiping down the door frames? Are they keeping plenty of soap in the bathrooms? Are they keeping hand sanitizers in the classrooms?"

And, other East Texas schools are also taking heed, before any cases pop up in their classrooms.

"We are following our normal flu precautions," said Traci Fountain, Lindale ISD's head nurse. "We are encouraging respiratory etiquette: Covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, using tissues."

And, health officials say kids should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to class.

Click here to find out what preventative action schools can take.

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