An H1N1 vaccine is not scheduled to be available until October of this year. South Carolina’s health specialists say, with the start of school, parents, teachers and students will have to be diligent about stopping the spread of this flu virus. The state Department of Health and environmental controls Jim Beasley says they have been preparing: “We know the virus still exists in South Carolina. Oddly enough, it’s been behaving unlike most influenza viruses. Typically flu viruses die in the summer. This one didn’t. So we figure that as children start to congregate once again in small classrooms for lengthy times each day, there’s obviously the potential for additional spread and we’re going to continue to be on the lookout for that.”
Until the vaccine is available, US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she wants every parent to have at a minimum a back-up childcare plan, to know if your child gets sick, who’s going to be home and to take care of that child.
She says hand-washing is critical,using the teaching tool of having your children wash their hands, singing “Happy Birthday” to themselves, making sure they take the time to wash away the germs.
Also, get your child into the habit of coughing into their sleeve, not into their hands.
If a child gets the flu of any type, the Centers for Disease Control say at least 24 hours after the fever disappears is the safe time to send your child back to school.