H1N1 Flu: Pandemic? I don’t think so…

By Matthew Juber “The world’s population is facing certain peril when you cough.  Welcome back to school!” Everyone has heard all of the horror stories about the “swine flu” or H1N1 virus, but let’s discuss what’s really going on. Fresh from the WHO’s (World Health Organization) recent statement, the facts do not spell total and

By Matthew Juber

“The world’s population is facing certain peril when you cough.  Welcome back to school!”

Everyone has heard all of the horror stories about the “swine flu” or H1N1 virus, but let’s discuss what’s really going on. Fresh from the WHO’s (World Health
Organization) recent statement, the facts do not spell total and certain doom. It is true, the WHO has officially declared H1N1 a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to panic, in fact, quite the opposite.  The WHO states, “The good news is that it is not as virulent as we had been planning for.”
Even though the numbers are up slightly from the average amount of students that are going home sick, it’s nearly negligible. While there have been at least a few reported cases of H1N1 here in Lincoln, we don’t have to be worried. It doesn’t spread as easily as first thought, and is about as severe as the regular flu. In fact, the symptoms are pretty much exactly the same as either the common cold or regular flu.  LPS has asked students to remain home an additional 24 hours if they are running a fever and to monitor health conditions closely.

Hopefully not too many of you were getting your hopes up about getting out of school due to closing for the flu, because most likely it won’t happen. The required amount of people to be sick for the district to even consider closure is 10% of the school being out due to illness. According to the Health office nurse Wendy Rau, right now the highest it has reached is around 5%, which is only about 2% higher than average.
When asked about how to protect yourself from H1N1 or anything else for that matter, Ms. Rau recommends that we take the usual precautions; such as washing your hands regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well. In the event you start feeling sick, you should go to the nurse’s office and get your temperature taken to make sure you don’t need to be sent home.
So what’s the bottom line? All in all we really don’t have much to be worried about. If you do end up with flu symptoms before school, stay home. And doctor’s offices are even asking that unless your symptoms don’t clear up within about a week, you shouldn’t even come in, just stay home and rest. So there you have it, turns out this “pandemic” isn’t as bad as everyone’s making it sound.

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