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Watching out for H1N1 as students head back to school

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A few months ago, it seemed like every day a new case of H1N1 was discovered in a school. Now as public school is set to reopen, schools are on high alert.

Even before the first school bell rings, health officials are preparing for the worst. H1N1 may rear its ugly head once again.

“There is a lot of speculation that it could be worst, the second round but we won’t know that until it gets here,” said Janey McCumbee of the NHC Health Department.

If and when it does, officials say they want students, parents, and schools to be ready.

As of the last public health release, there had been 12 cases of H1N1 confirmed in New Hanover County alone.

“We probably had a hand full of kids in every school with H1N1 that hadn’t been tested and it was an odd time of the year for the flu, but it was a novel virus,” McCumbee said.

The younger generation, those aged 6 months to 24-years-old, are most at risk.

“It is so easily to be spread just keeping kids from school is not going to stop the spread of it,” said Fred Michael, the Brunswick County Deputy Health Director.

The Center for Disease Control will no longer be reporting individual cases, since the virus is not as dangerous as once thought.

Schools won’t be shutting down when H1N1 arises, unless enough cases are reported that would interfere with the daily function of school.

If an outbreak does occur, health departments in our area fully stocked with the antibiotic Tamiflu for treatment.

Currently, a vaccine is being tested in clinical trials, which could be available as soon as October.

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videoA few months ago, it seemed like every day a new case of H1N1 was discovered in a school. Now as public school is set to reopen, schools are on high alert.

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