Going Back to School With Swine Flu

How parents can prepare.

Nancy Shute

Premium Health News Service

September 9, 2009


We're well into back-to-school prep, buying glue sticks and comparing lunchboxes. But this year, the process is a bit out of the ordinary. It includes getting up to speed on what our family should do if my child gets swine flu.

Last spring, the federal government ordered schools to close if they had a student ill with the new H1N1 flu. Flu experts expect there will be many more H1N1 flu cases this September and October, ahead of the beginning of the usual annual flu season. School-age children are much more likely to get the new flu than are adults, because they have no immunity.

Parents need expert advice right now if we're going to be ready for this new back-to-school drill.

New flu guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut parents a bit of a break. Because many of last spring's flu cases were mild, the feds decided it makes more sense to keep schools open when students have swine flu. Here's the gist of the new flu rules: