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Swine Flu: Guidelines for schools and colleges by Ministry of Health and Family welfare

Ministry of Health & family welfare has issued guidelines for schools and colleges mainly in Mumbai, Pune, Maharashtra and Delhi after the recent outbreak of swine flu H1N1 virus

Government of India
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Directorate General of Health Services
(Emergency Medical Relief)

GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS/COLLEGES/INSTITUTIONS ON INFLUENZA A/H1N1

There have been some cases of Influenza A H1N1 virus among students and staff in certain schools, primarily in Delhi,Mumbai, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra. There has been considerable speculation over the need for closure of schools to control the outbreak. This matter has been considered by the Joint Monitoring Group in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. All schools and colleges are advised to observe the following guidelines for managing cases of infection of Influenza AH1N1.

(i) Any student or staff member showing flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, running nose and difficulty in breathing should be allowed to stay at home for a period of 7 to 10 days.

(ii) Educational institutions should not insist on production of medical certificate by the student/staff.

(iii) Educational institutions should monitor the health status of such students/staff who might have come in contact with a suspected case of Influenza AH1N1 to see whether they develop flu like symptoms. In case they do so, they should be allowed to stay home, as outlined at (i) above

(iv) In case of students staying in Hostels, the educational institutions would not only monitor the health status of the students, but also that of care providers. It has to be ensured that the care providers wear face mask and wash hands regularly. It might not be advisable to send the boarders back to home, as it would spread infection further.

(v) Educational institutions are further encouraged to report such cases to local health officers for further monitoring.

(vi) Given the current magnitude of the spread of AH1N1 infection and the fact that the current virus is fairly mild, closure of educational institutions on account of any student/staff member falling ill with flu like symptoms is not recommended.

(vii) In the first place, the schools should discourage the excursions of the students to the affected countries.

(viii) In case if the students had proceeded to affected countries on unavoidable tours, then on their return, if some students show flu like symptoms of fever, sore- throat , cough , body ache, running nose, difficulty breathing etc. they should be advised to abstain from attending school and be allowed to stay at home for a period of 7 to 10 days.

Courtesy:Ministry of Health & Family Welfare http://mohfw.nic.in/main/main.html

Symptoms of Swine Flu

The symptoms of swine flu are usually like those of regular seasonal flu and include:

  • headache
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • aches
  • fatigue
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • watery eyes
  • throat irritation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • in people with chronic conditions, pneumonia may develop

 

Precautions Against Swine Flu

Good standard flu prevention techniques are recommended to protect yourself against swine flu:

  • Get a regular seasonal flu vaccination. It might not help against this specific strain, but it won’t hurt.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot running water. If hot water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • When you cough and sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. Wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid being near others who might be sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, to avoid affecting others.
Precautions for Travelers
  • Before you travel, find out what vaccines you will need and where to get them. Visit your family doctor or a travel health clinic at least six weeks before your departure date.
  • If you get sick when you are travelling, seek medical assistance.
  • If you are sick when you return to Canada, or have been near someone who is, you must tell a customs or quarantine office, who will decide if you need further medical assessment.
  • If you get sick after you return to Canada, see a health care provider. Be sure to tell him/her the countries you visited, if you were sick while away and any medical care or treatment your received.

Courtesy:www.about.com

Preparing for a Flu Pandemic

What a Flu Pandemic Means to You

By Kristina Duda, R.N., About.com

Updated: July 13, 2009

Do you know what to do in the case of a flu pandemic? Most people alive today have never seen a true global outbreak of a disease like the flu. The last major flu pandemic was in 1918, and it killed millions of people. While the thought of that seems pretty much incomprehensible today, it could still happen.

While getting a flu shot every year is a great way to prevent the flu, it may not help in a flu pandemic situation. When a pandemic occurs, the strain of flu will be severe and spread rapidly. It may be difficult to produce a vaccine for that particular strain quickly enough to immunize people against it. That is why it is important to take other measures to protect ourselves against a flu pandemic.

Right now, the World Health Organization considers us to be in a Phase 6 pandemic alert level which means we are currently experiencing a worldwide pandemic. This particular pandemic is being cause by the novel H1N1 swine flu.

So what should we be doing? There are a few simple steps that we can all take to be sure we are prepared for a flu pandemic:

Keep clean
Washing your hands is the single best way to prevent the spread of any type of infection. Make sure you do it properly and often. Other simple ways to prevent the spread of infection include using a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and staying away from people who are sick. More Flu Prevention Tips

Stock up on supplies
There is a high likelihood that normal life could be disrupted in a true pandemic, so making sure you have a two-week supply of food, water and medical supplies for your family is important. In a true pandemic situation, many people could be sick, causing schools, businesses and public transportation to be closed or disrupted, limiting your ability to purchase new (and necessary) items.

Know your community’s plan
Many cities and communities, and even schools and businesses, have plans in place for a flu pandemic or other public health emergencies. Knowing the plan ahead of time helps everything run more smoothly and ensures you won’t be caught not knowing what to do in case of an emergency.

Although the possibility of a flu pandemic may be hard to imagine, it is a very real possibility and one we should prepare for. To learn more, the CDC has provided some great information about how to prepare for a flu pandemic and what your state is already doing.

 

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