Archive for Thursday, August 27, 2009

Community cooperation needed to contain H1N1

August 27, 2009

More than four months since it came into our awareness with scary reports from Mexico, we still don't know if the swine flu virus, or H1N1, will justify its print space and air time.

Countering the growing view of late last spring that H1N1 was merely a mild flu is estimates from this week that it could cause from 30,000 to 90,000 deaths in the United States and news that it is three times more likely to cause death independent of associated causes other than flu strains.

The latest worrisome news comes after most of us lost our concern about the virus when we put away the last of our springtime sweaters. That wasn't true of school and health officials, who understood the children and young adults unprotected from exposure from past related virus strains for the virus would be the most vulnerable and knew the potential the virus would reappear when large numbers of children came together in indoor environments with the start of the school year.

That is reassuring. The Eudora School District has been developing plans for vaccine clinics at schools even through no vaccine is expected to be available until October.

More immediately, it is providing education on preventive measure and on the symptoms on the illness so that parents can recognize it early and keep sick children home. Superintendent Don Grosdidier said the district will do its part by identifying sick students so that their parents can remove them from school.

We would encourage all parents to inform themselves of these measures and cooperate with the district. Absent a vaccine, shared efforts to contain the virus if vital.


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