The CDC and Schools Work To Keep Children Safe From H1N1
The first cases of H1N1 in the United States, initially reported as Swine Flu in the media, included school-aged children and who traveled to Mexico and school-based outbreaks. This was especially concerning, because early information from Mexico indicated that many otherwise healthy young adults were hospitalized with rapidly progressive pneumonia, frequently resulting in respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and occasionally death.
Based on this initial information, Centers for Disease Control recommended consideration of school closures as an option to lessen the risk of infection from the H1N1 virus in order to protect students, staff, parents and other caregivers from a potentially severe disease as well as limit spread into the community.
At this time, CDC recommends early identification of ill students and staff, staying home when ill, and good cough and hand hygiene etiquette as the best methods of reducing the spread of H1N1 among school age children. Decisions about school and child care program closures may still be appropriate in some instances, but should be at the discretion of local authorities based on local considerations, including public concern and the impact of school or child care program absenteeism and staffing shortages