The Iowa Department of Public Health is offering Iowa schools a “Pandemic Influenza Planning Guide.” The department’s Nicole Peckumn says many schools have had questions about the issue. She says the guide helps schools start developing plans so they could deal with a potential pandemic.
Peckumn says they don’t want schools to confuse a pandemic with a seasonal flu outbreak. Peckumn says a pandemic means that all across the globe there are multiple incidents of influenza involving thousands and possibly millions of cases.
While you’re normally told to stay home when you have the flu, Peckumn says the school setting has some advantages in a pandemic. She says being able to contain people in a school allows them to contain the virus by treating people and educating them on the things they need to do.
Peckumn says they recently held a program on the Iowa Communications Network to talk about a potential pandemic. Peckumn says they also tried to clear up any confusion between a flu pandemic and the bird flu. She says they’re two very different things and they want educators to know that they’re different. Peckumn says it’s very possible a bird flu case will be found in the U.S., but she says that will not mean that a flu pandemic will happen in the U.S.
The Health Department will hold another program on the ICN on a possible flu pandemic, and has planning guides available on its website — www.idph.state.ia.us.
Related web sites:
IA Dept of Public Health