Children and the elderly are more susceptible to the flu virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The 2014-2015 flu season has been especially deadly for children, and the recent declaration of a flu epidemic by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has put schools on high alert.
This season, influenza claimed the lives of 21 children in 11 states as of December 31, 2014. To keep the number from increasing, schools across the country are becoming more proactive in flu prevention.
A number of schools were forced to close because of high infection rates. West Virginia’s Tyler County Schools closed for two days in December due to a number of teachers calling out sick with flu-like symptoms. The District couldn’t get enough substitutes to cover all of the absences. The West Virginia Department of Education is attempting to make flu prevention fun by asking students to pledge healthy hygiene habits and posting selfies with the hashtag #MyPledgetoStoptheFluWV on social media outlets. Students are pledging to cover their mouths when they cough and wash their hands frequently.
Schools in Polk County, Georgia were also forced to shut down and start winter break early because of a large number of students suffering from the flu.
City-licensed preschools and daycares in New York City required all children to receive flu shot by December 31, 2014.
This year’s flu shot has not been as effective as in previous years, but doctors and healthcare providers are still urging people to get vaccinated.
“Getting a flu shot is the best way to reduce seasonal flu and spreading it to others” said Michelle-Lee Moore, a pediatric nurse with Shawnee County Health Agency.
Dr. Marc Itskowtiz with Allegheny Health Network agrees and suggests, “… if people have not gotten their flu shot, it’s still not too late.”The Anapol Weiss vaccine injury lawyers urge parents to talk to their health care providers about the flu vaccine as well as the best flu prevention practices for themselves and their children.