Flu Season News
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
What you need to know to prevent H1N1 and other viruses this season.
The swine flu outbreak became a phase 6 pandemic on June 11, declared the World Health Organization (WHO). Officially known as the H1N1 virus, the flu is being transmitted communitywide in both North America and Australia. A pandemic is an epidemic (disease outbreak) over a widespread geographical area.
Officials are now advising against closing down schools to stop the spread of swine flu this fall. The Center for Disease Control says a few simple measures like washing your hands frequently, coughing into a tissue, and staying home when sick will prevent a widespread outbreak. Schools can remain open, even when students or teachers come down with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
Symptoms of the H1N1 virus are almost identical to regular flu, except for one thing. H1N1 happens faster. "It suddenly hit me," said Andrew Christensen, 12, a student from Buljan Middle School in Roseville, California. "I didn't want to do anything or eat at all." Currently, 4% of the student population at Buljan has the flu, despite extra precautions by the staff.
Flu season has begun, earlier than ever and with a new strain of virus. The H1N1 (swine flu) virus targets a different -- and younger --population than regular seasonal flu and will require an additional medication for full protection from the illness.