Feds and State to Californians: Ride Out Swine Flu Alone

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CNN carried a report this morning on physicians at the University of Kansas telling students to avoid coming in to the campus health clinic if they contract the H1N1 swine flu virus and that they instead ride it out in their dorm rooms.

That's keeping with federal guidelines California public schools plan to follow this flu season, when more swine flu cases are anticipated, to keep campuses open as long as possible, closing schools only as a last resort.

It's like Uncle Sam and Aunt Cali want us all to catch it!

 

After all, state health officials claim the H1N1 virus has the potential to sicken as many as one in four Californians, or 9 million people. Meanwhile, a H1N1 vaccine is not expected to be online until mid-October.

But the feds claim closing schools in not the answer to stemming the spread of swine flu, stressing hand hygiene and other individual preventative measures is. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger concurs.

"Keep yourself healthy," he told California News Service. "Don't infect others. Take precautions by washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you are sick. Parents need to plan for the kids to be home from school."

Schwarzenegger says Californians views the swine flu virus no differently than it does typical flu, although he does concede, "The H1N1 is unpredictable."

"Through this summer, we have seen an average of one to two Californians die each day from it," he added. "And about 25 percent of those who die had no pre-existing health conditions."

The feds are urging schools to prepare take-home packets so students who stay home with the flu can keep learning, and to be ready to do that on a larger scale if it decimates attendance. Their full swine flu guidelines are here. For California public health info, go here.

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