The Kosciusko County Health Department held an H1N1 information session on Friday, October 16, for county school nurses and superintendents.
Symptoms of the 2009 strain of H1N1A were reviewed:
- sore throat
- 103˚ - 104˚, even with Tylenol or similar product
- possible vomiting and diarrhea
- length of 7 to 10 days, with cough lasting longer
Fluids and monitoring are the most important treatments. Please do not return to work or school once a fever is no longer present with out the help of medication for 24-48 hours.
The 2009 H1N1A virus symptoms have been generally mild and treatable without doctor intervention. In certain cases, antiviral medications can lessen infection symptoms.
You get the flu from taking in fluids containing the virus which has been expelled in large droplets from the mouth or nasal area of someone with the virus. The virus generally lives until the fluid dries.
Covering your mouth when coughing, using tissues for runny noses, washing hands, using alcohol-based gels, and isolating infected individuals will slow the spread of the flu virus.
The 2009 H1N1A virus is not closely related to other recent flu strains, so the vaccine prepared for this year will not affect the 2009 H1N1A virus. This year’s ‘seasonal’ flu shot will protect against other flu strains expected this winter. Those individuals in priority groups for receiving the 2009 H1N1A vaccine should also get their regular ‘seasonal’ inoculation.
Two types of vaccinations have been prepared for the 2009 H1N1A virus. One is a mist administered through the nose. The other is a shot. The mist is generally more effective and is suitable for those 2-49 years of age. The shot is for 0-2 years of age, those 50 and older, those with asthma, and women who are pregnant.
Supplies of the H1N1A vaccine have been limited. The county expects shipments over the next month or two to inoculate priority groups. Those include:
- pregnant women
- health care workers
- children of 6 months to young adults of 24 years
- those 25-64 with chronic health concerns
Teachers are not considered in the high risk category unless they fall under another priority group designation. Those 65 and older are generally not at risk for contracting the 2009 H1N1A virus.
The Kosciusko County Health Department will work with various entities to inoculate the priority grips. These entities are:
- health care workers
- first responders/key government individuals
- private medical offices
- health department walk-ins
- school-based clinics
If the 2009 H1N1A outbreak should seriously worsen, other measures like voluntary quarantine, school closings, and other means to reduce social contacts will be considered. Schools are making plans for educational activities to continue at home and on-line in the event of closing due to flu related absences.
More 2009 H1N1A, along with general flu, information is available at http://www.flu.gov/ or The Center of Disease Control.
The Wawasee Community School Corporation is tracking, and will continue to monitor, student and staff absentee rates. We’ll report significant changes to our community and to the Kosciusko County Health Department.
A Wawasee High School-based 2009 H1N1A inoculation session will be set for a Saturday in late October or early November, with the date depending upon vaccine availability. Volunteers will be needed that day.
Thanks to the Wawasee school nurses and the Kosciusko County Health Department for their planning and communication regarding the 2009 H1N1A flu virus, our students and our community.