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School And Health Officials Plan For Flu

By Staff | Aug 26, 2009

As Wetzel County Schools begins this school year, everyone must be ever diligent when it comes to preventing all students and adults from contracting the Swine Flu, which has been determined to be a pandemic.

This strain of the flu is causing illness in the United States and around the world. The Swine Flu is expected to continue and perhaps get worse as we head toward another flu season. The Wetzel County School System is passing along the following information from the Centers for Disease Control.

The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Many people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.

It is important that all who have or suspect the flu avoid contact with others. If children contract the flu, keep them home until 24 hours after the fever is gone-without the use of fever reducing medications. It is recommended that anyone with the flu who must leave home (for medical appointments, for example) wear a face mask.

There are signs that could indicate a medical emergency when the parent/guardian should seek immediate medical attention for children. Those signs are fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish or gray skin color, not drinking enough fluids, severe or persistent vomiting, not waking up or not interacting, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, and improvement of flu-Like symptoms but symptoms and signs return with fever and worse cough.

Emergency warning signs for adults include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, and improvement of flu-like symptoms but returns with fever and worse cough.

Precautionary measures should be implemented to protect children and adults alike. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth to keep germs from spreading; avoid close contact with sick people; wear a face mask if you are sharing common space with others at home and in public; and have emergency items on hand.

Emergency items include extra water; food; non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, and stomach remedies; and fluids that contain electrolytes and vitamins.

Wetzel County Schools are working closely with the Tyler-Wetzel Health Department, which will determine if it is necessary to close schools due to wide-spread illness. The department is planning to vaccinate children and adults who qualify when the vaccine becomes available. More information will be forthcoming when the vaccine is available.

Persons who have any questions concerning the efforts being made by Wetzel County Schools may contact Susanna Villers at 304-455-2441, extension 118.