NYC Schools and the Return of H1N1

by NYC Firm Schools on August 20, 2009

The H1N1 flu outbreak of last year is set to make a comeback as soon as there are thousands of children in close proximity to one another, serving as a focal point for transmission. The Huffington Post recently reported on NY School’s preparation for the second outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

While educators and health officials decide how best to ward off a stronger strain of the virus in the fall, St. Francis Assistant Principal Patrick McLaughlin said his students may have already learned from experience to be vigilant.
He already noticed the changes: Sharing water bottles at school suddenly became a major transgression.

Students who have been though the Swine flu outbreak of last year tended to earn a new respect for simple personal hygiene and the consequences of sharing food and drinks with one another, especially if the other person shows signs of an illness.

One interesting side affect of the H1N1 flu outbreak of last year was the reported surge in interest in communicable diseases and how outbreaks happen, as well as being able to relate the outbreak to the historical flu of 1918.

And in 25 years of teaching health class, McLaughlin had never seen students get so excited about communicable diseases.

Using real world events to tie into student’s everyday education in science and sociology can increase both interest, understanding and retention of the lesson plan.

No one wants to call the city’s outbreak a blessing, but the spring’s out-of-season flu invasion did provide a peculiar kind of gift. Now New York City’s Health Department and schools are trying to take advantage of the lead time – preparing for a fall season that is expected to be even worse.
The details of the city’s swine flu plan are still being finalized by a Health Department panel

NYC schools will be preparing for the flu this season, hopefully with vaccines, education and hygienic instruction.

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