2009-05-02 / Editorials & Letters

School district lists preventative measures for swine flu

Editor:

As you are aware, there is a world-wide risk of a Swine Flu epidemic. As far as we know, there are no cases of Swine Flu in our school or in Central Ohio, but that could change any day.

A few preventative measures can be taken at home and at school to slow down the spread of contagious germs. The Walnut Township Local Schools custodial staff has stepped up their efforts to disinfect desks and door knobs nightly and is wiping down other high traffic equipment much more frequently. The federal Center for Disease Control suggests the following steps be taken by all school employees, students and community members:

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated (keyfacts.htm) each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs (antiviral/ index.htm) that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Here are some printable materials for promoting good health habits

• Cover Your Cough (http://www.dev. cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm)

• Be a Germ Stopper: Healthy Habits Keep You Well (http://www.cdc.gov/germstopper/)

• Flu Prevention Toolkit: Real People, Real Solutions (http://www.dev.cdc.gov/ flu/toolkit)

• Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School (http://www.dev. cdc.gov/flu/protect/stopgerms.htm)

Prevention is the key to staying well.

Ron Thornton, Superintendent Walnut Township Local Schools

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