With guest blogger Amy Dickerson
The Illinois Department of Public Health recently issued flu virus guidance to the Illinois State Board of Education, as well as various Illinois health agencies, on slowing the spread of flu viruses in K-12 schools. The Department issued this guidance in response to the recent increase in cases of individuals being infected with the H3N2v flu virus in Illinois and other states. The majority of confirmed cases of H3N2v virus reported having direct contact with pigs, mainly at agricultural fairs.
While the Department reports that no outbreaks in schools have been identified to date, the guidance provides schools and other agencies with information to help identify individuals who may be infected with the H3N2v virus and to slow the spread of this and other flu viruses in K-12 schools. The guidance includes recommendations that schools educate teachers and staff on everyday preventive actions, refer students with certain symptoms to their health care providers, encourage students and staff to get the seasonal flu vaccine, and inform parents and guardians on how to protect themselves from the H3N2v virus.