District, community prepares for upcoming flu season

The United States is in the midst of the secondary wave of the swine flu.
The World Health Organization decided to raise its pandemic level to its highest level this June.
Thus, ushering the world into the 2009 pandemic, H1N1 influenza (also known as “swine flu”).
“Symptoms of H1N1 are really very similar to the seasonal flu, with high fevers, body aches, sore throat, headache and cough,” Family Practitioner Genelle Slagle said. ”However, people with the H1N1 virus may also encounter diarrhea and vomiting, as well. If a person has any flu like symptoms, they just need to see their doctor ASAP.”
This resurgence of the H1N1 virus is expected to cause turmoil for hospitals and school districts alike.
In nearby Lawrence, cases of the virus have appeared in the University of Kansas dorms, confining several college students to their rooms.
The Blue Valley district has not had any reported cases yet but is still preparing for the worst.
“Right now they are taking it case by case and monitoring students’ absences,” school nurse Kayce Powers said. “This is a wait-and-see kind of thing.”
The district placed information about the flu on its Web site hoping to prevent the spread of the virus.
Officials want to keep the school open and functioning in a normal manner during the flu season.
If the flu condition becomes critical, the district will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the county to see what should be done.
With the upcoming flu season, many things are still unknown.
“There is some concern about having enough vaccines,” Slagle said. “However, the CDC has fairly specific guidelines for who is at highest risk and this will determine who receives priority for receiving the two-shot series for H1N1.”
Until a lack of vaccines becomes reality, Powers encourages students to get both the seasonal shot and the swine flu vaccine, which will become available to the public late this month or early October. by Emily Brown.