Pandemic FluSchool Planning
The most important things schools can do to reduce the risk of flu is to encourage flu vaccination for all students and those staff who are recommended for vaccination; suggest early treatment for people at higher risk for flu complications; facilitate use of respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by students and staff; ensure that sick students and adults do not come to the facility; and separate sick and well people as soon as possible. School administrators should frequently remind students, their families, and staff about the importance of these.
Seasonal FluEach year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications. Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older. Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading flu to others.
Ask children to:
- Cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze—have them throw the tissue away after they use it.
- Wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Checklists for Pandemic Flu Planning
Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Education, these checklists can assist local educational agencies in developing and/or improving plans to prepare for and respond to a flu pandemic.
- Child Care and Preschool Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (PDF - 124.97 KB)
- School District (K-12) Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (PDF - 123.95 KB)
- Colleges and Universities Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (PDF - 170.04 KB)
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General Information for a Flu Pandemic Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation (PDF - 10.3 MB)
Plan Now to Be Ready for the Next Flu Pandemic (PDF - 213.55 KB) (DOC - 51 KB)
The Next Flu Pandemic: What to Expect (PDF - 226.83 KB); (DOC - 47 KB)
CDC guidelines on actions, designed primarily to reduce contact between people, that community government and health officials can take to try to limit the spread of infection should a pandemic flu develop. Appendixes 5, 6, and 7 contain information for childcare programs, elementary schools, and colleges and universities.
- Interim Public Health Guidance for the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in Non-Occupational Community Settings during an Influenza Pandemic (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Provides information on influenza transmission and gives recommendations on when to use masks and respirators in public settings and communities. Gives additional actions to reduce the possibility of infection.
- Emergency Planning: Influenza Outbreak (U.S. Department of Education) Access resources on how to prepare schools and colleges for an influenza pandemic.
- Pandemic Planning Examples of State and Local Plans and Planning Efforts (U.S. Department of Education) The Department of Education has gathered information on state and local pandemic planning efforts to help others begin or refine their pandemic influenza plans.
- Pandemic Flu: A Planning Guide for Educators (U.S. Department of Education) Identifies issues to consider when planning for seasonal flu, a mild or moderate pandemic flu, or a severe pandemic. It tells what a "flu pandemic" is, how influenza spreads, and what can be done to limit the spread of the flu.
- No Ordinary Flu (Public Health – Seattle & King County Advanced Practice Center) Available in 21 languages. A comic book about an influenza pandemic. It also provides information about the 1918 influenza pandemic.
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H1N1 (Swine) Flu
Guidance for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs
Guidance and Information for K-12
Guidance and Information for Universities and Colleges
- Guidance on Day and Residential Camps Provides general recommendations that apply to all programs and specific guidance that applies to residential programs.
- School-Located Vaccination Planning Materials and Template These documents provide information for planning and conducting school-located 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccination clinics that target school-aged children enrolled in school and potentially other groups in the community. The targeted audience for these materials is primarily state and local public health department immunization and preparedness staff who are responsible for carrying out 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccination, but also education officials, school nurses, and others who are interested in planning and carrying out such activities.
- School-based Vaccination Clinics: school-based vaccination clinics nationwide and why vaccination matters. Archived Webcast, January 6, 2010. CDC Guidance for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators
- Communication Toolkit for Schools (Grades K-12)
- Technical Report for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators on CDC Guidance
- Recommendations to Ensure the Continuity of Learning for Schools (K-12) During Extended Student Absence or School Dismissal ( (Dept. of Education)
- Joint Letter to Schools and School Districts Regarding H1N1 Influenza Preparations - June 11, 2009 It is critical for schools to plan to prevent disease transmission and protect students and staff, as well as local communities, from flu infection. In addition, because schools could be used as vaccine distribution locations, schools should consider how they might accommodate such requests.
- H1N1 Flu Information (U.S. Department of Education) Find FAQs and guidance for school leaders.
- Novel H1N1 Vaccination Guidance (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Vaccination Guidance for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Health Officials.
- H1N1 Vaccine Tort Liability Immunity The H1N1 vaccine declaration provides tort liability immunity to a group named “program planners.” Program planners can include private sector individuals and organizations, community groups, schools, or businesses.
- CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year
- Communication Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education
- Technical Report on CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year
- Resources for Colleges and Universities
H1N1 flu and seasonal flu are not spread by food, whether it is raw or cooked. It is not necessary to alter cooking times or temperatures for any food product to reduce chances of contracting a flu virus. You CANNOT get H1N1 flu from eating pork or pork products.
A food worker with the flu does NOT present any risk to the safety of food. However, one of the best ways to reduce the spread of influenza is to keep sick people away from well people. Workers who have symptoms of the flu, such as fever, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and muscle aches, should stay home and not come to work until at least 24 hours after their fever has resolved.
Food Handler Frequently Asked Questions
H5N1 (Bird) Flu
Understanding Avian Influenza Lesson Plan (PDF - 7.42 MB) (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Resource for teaching high school biology students about avian influenza, specifically highly pathogenic H5N1.
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