School officials create plan for H1N1

Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - With the first day of public school approaching, some Brunswick County officials met Wednesday to discuss how to handle the H1N1 virus.

A new sub-committee was created based on the identification of the potential crisis effects that would be caused by a pandemic influenza on the county.

The group is working with several organizations to produce a road map for the county to be able to face a possible pandemic.

New Hanover County parents can expect to get a lot of information about how to avoid the H1N1 virus when school starts.  School leaders say keeping the community informed will prevent panic and the virus from spreading.

"We're working very closely with the health department," said Valita Quattlebaum with NHC Schools.  "We're in almost daily contact with them, and we're sending a back-to-school letter home from the health department to give parents information. So, we really want parents to pay attention to that letter and to do those things that the nurses are advising."

The CDC has changed the guidelines in regards to the virus.  Instead of keeping students home from school for seven days, children can now return to the classroom 24 hours after their fever breaks.

According to U.S. officials, the first big rollout of a vaccine for the flu strain will be much smaller than originally planned.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said 45 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine will be ready in October, rather than the 120 million doses previously expected.

After that, 20 million doses will be delivered each week, until all of the vaccine HHS purchased is in: roughly 195 million doses overall.

Delays in manufacturing and packaging of the vaccines are to blame.

CDC officials say pregnant women and health care workers should be first in line to get the two-dose vaccine, followed by school-age children and teenagers.

Clinical trials of the vaccine are underway in the United States, it could be approved as early as September.

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