State epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk expects to see more H-1-N-1 Flu cases in Iowa soon. That’s because students are returning to school.
"We do know that children – with respiratory viruses like the flu – are often the primary spreaders within the community. So, that’s why we do expect it to come back and be in the schools," Quinlisk said. She’s encouraging parents and teachers to talk to kids about the importance of washing their hands and coughing into their sleeve or a tissue.
Quinlisk says parents should be prepared a flu outbreak. "One of things that we see happening in some neighborhoods is parents all getting together and saying ‘if our children all get sick about the time, we’re going to have one parent stay home from work on Monday, another one will stay home on Tuesday, etcetera.’ So, nobody has to stay home with their all week," Quinlisk said.
"The Iowa Department of Education is supplying school administrators with toolkits. They contain information about H-1-N-1 Influenza, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and ways to help prevent an outbreak.
A vaccine for H-1-N-1 won’t be available for a couple months but Quinlisk says getting the seasonal flu vaccine could offer protection from other types of flu.
Quinlisk made her comments today on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk at Twelve program.