Flu Concerns for New NYC School Year

by NYC Firm Schools on July 12, 2009

The H1N1 virus disrupted NYC Schools and lives at an alarming rate this past year and there is growing concern for what will happen in the upcoming school year as so many students come into close contact again.

The NYTimes carried this story about the H1N1 flu and its New York relationship:

“The potential for a significant outbreak in the fall is looming,” President Obama said by telephone link from Italy to the White House’s H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit, held at the National Institutes of Health.
With good planning, “we may end up averting a crisis,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s our fervent hope.”

NYC schools in particular were faced with hardship as they were among the first to have to make decisions on closing schools, both public and private, and dealing with the consequences as well as the publicity.

At the flu’s peak in May, Mr. Duncan noted, 726 schools were closed across the United States. Decisions on closing schools will be made locally, he said.
Officials from New York and Texas described the difficulties they had in deciding which schools to shut down and how hard it was to explain why they picked those they did.
Both schools and businesses need to prepare for the possibility of several weeks of high absenteeism, Ms. Napolitano said. She also reminded governors that not only the obvious services, like hospitals and schools, would be affected.

In preparation for the upcoming flu season, vaccinations are being tested and are scheduled to begin.

Vaccinations will begin in October only if tests scheduled to begin in August prove that the vaccine is safe and effective. Even then, officials expect only tens of millions of doses to be ready, so they will have to decide who is vaccinated first. The most likely candidates, Ms. Sebelius said, are school children, health care workers, pregnant women and people with asthma or other conditions that make the flu riskier.

All NYC residents, especially those with school aged children, are following the potential for vaccination and outbreak during the flu season.

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