CDC advises against closing schools during H1N1 outbreaks

first_img May 5 CIDRAP News storyhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/may0509schools-br.html Regularly cleaning surfaces in schools with regular cleansers (bleach is not advised) Aug 7, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials recommended today that schools should not close down during novel H1N1 influenza outbreaks, though they emphasized that the advice is a guideline and that decisions should be made based on local conditions. However, the officials said, some schools will be justified in closing if they have a high rate of infection or large numbers of students with the underlying conditions that make the virus more dangerous. “We hope no schools will have to close, but realistically, some schools will close this fall,” Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. See also: The advice affects the approximately 55 million students and 7 million staff who work in the more than 130,000 public and private K-12 schools in the United States. Separate advisories for colleges and universities, and for pre-kindergarten and early-childhood programs, are expected to be issued in the next few weeks. Conducting active screening for fever and other symptoms as students and staff enter school each morning More than 700 schools closed when H1N1 flu first struck in April and May. About 50 were in New York City, where the local outbreak was at least 800,000 cases. As New York City health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Frieden oversaw those closings. But today, speaking as new director of the CDC, he said that additional information about the behavior of the novel virus has made school closings a choice rather than a necessity. Along with the advice on closings, which were published today on the CDC’s H1N1 flu Web page, the guidelines include new advice on when to allow ill students and staff to return to school: when 24 hours have passed with no fever, whether or not the person is taking antiviral drugs. Previously, federal guidance required flu patients to stay home for 7 days. The guidelines, composed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and released at a press briefing by the Department of Health and Human Services, build on revised guidance that the CDC issued in May. Early in the pandemic’s spring wave, schools were told to close for up to 2 weeks, but the CDC changed its advice shortly afterward to say that schools should focus on keeping sick students and staff out of school. CDC Guidance for State and local Public Health Officials and School Administrators for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Yearhttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/schoolguidance.htm Asking students and staff with underlying conditions to stay home when flu is circulating locally Emphasizing hand-washing and covering coughs with tissues or shirt-sleeves Because closings may yet happen, school should prepare by getting temporary home-schooling plans ready, Duncan warned. Making sure that students and staff with high-risk conditions see healthcare professionals as soon as possible after they show symptoms The guidelines also advise: Technical Report for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators on CDC Guidance for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Yearhttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/technicalreport.htm Asking students and staff with ill family members to stay home for 5 days after the first household member falls ill “We know from the spring that where there was H1N1 there were very large explosive outbreaks in schools,” Frieden said in the briefing. “[But] we know more now about how it behaves; we know more about how to control it. It is now clear that closure of schools is rarely if ever indicated.” The new advice is being issued because “once you close a school, as we saw last spring, that creates a very significant ripple effect” on parents and businesses, Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said during the briefing. Sending ill students and staff home, and holding them in rooms separate from the main student body until they can leave Schools can reasonably consider closing if they have large numbers of students who are medically frail or pregnant, or are in an area where the local outbreak is especially intense, or if the virus begins to cause more severe illness, he said. Otherwise, schools will need to rely on parents to keep children at home if they are feverish. But he cautioned that some of the spring closings in New York City were driven by children showing up to school with fever because their parents did not or could not keep them at home. If the fall flu wave involves more severe disease than what was seen in the spring, the guidelines also call for (among other steps):last_img read more

Dog credited with saving four young lives in Rush County now missing

first_imgRushville, Ind. — A dog credited with saving the lives of four children in a Rush County crash is missing and the owner is looking for help from local residents.Driver of the car, Austin Underhill, says he was on State Road 3 near State Road 244 Saturday around 9:30 p.m. with four children when a van crossed the centerline causing him to run off the road. When the airbag deployed it pushed Underhill out of the driver’s side door. Underhill suffered a broken hand and abdominal injuries.During the impact their dog, Simba, the Great Dane stood up, absorbing the impact and prevented the children from hitting the rear of the front seat. Underhill believes Simba’s actions prevent serious injury to the children.Following the crash, Underhill saw Simba running from the crash with an injury to one his front legs. The dog was last seen in the Rushville area. Information about Simba can be left by calling 765-716-7815.last_img read more

Robertson nears perfection with sprint to Western RaceSaver Series championship

first_imgWestern RaceSaver Sprint Series Champion Blake Robertson. (Photo by Tom Macht, www.photofinishphotos.com)VISALIA, Calif. – Blake Robertson came as close to IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Car perfection as you can get in 2016.Robertson won 14 of his 15 Western RaceSaver Sprint Series starts this season, scooping up Allstar Performance California State honors in addition to the tour title.“We’ve never had a season like this,” he acknowledged. “When we needed luck it fell our way. The stars were getting in line at the Sprint Nationals before we ran out of time, but we had a very blessed season.”Robertson racked up all those wins at Thunderbowl Speedway, Bakersfield Speedway, Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairground and Santa Maria Raceway.The one race he didn’t win was the second of the season, when he tangled with a lapped car while running second at Kings and ended in 11th.The hands-on owner of BR Motorsports, a mail order parts supplier of parts for Sprint Cars and Midgets, and King Racing Products, which manufactures those parts, Robertson is from Visalia and began  racing Sprint Cars more than 20 years ago.Always a fan and a regular at the track to cheer on his customers, he returned to the sport as a driver last season after a seven-year absence.He was runner-up in the Sprint Nationals main event and third in the Jake Ita Memorial Race of Champions at Eagle Raceway in September.“I don’t have a favorite. I like going to different tracks,” he said. “I really liked the banking at Ea­gle. You can be fast on the bottom and you can be fast on the top.”Starts: 15Wins: 14Additional Top Fives: 0HIS CREW: Father Brock, father-in-law Kyle Hartman, wife Kasey and children Kameron, Sara, Brock and Ally. HIS SPONSORS: Keller Auto Center of Hanford; and BR Motorsports and King Racing Products, both of Visalia.last_img read more