CDC: School closures should only occur if faculty, student absenteeism is high
ATLANTA Based on the fact that the H1N1 influenza virus appears to be not as severe as once feared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday lifted its recommendation that schools close for two weeks following confirmation that a student or teacher became ill with the H1N1 virus.
“As of May 4, 2009, more than 1,000 confirmed or probable cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) have been reported from 44 states, with numerous disease clusters, indicating spread within communities that makes individual school closure less effective as a control measure,” the CDC sated. “Most U.S. cases have not been severe and are comparable in severity to seasonal influenza.”
As a result, CDC is now advising schools to only close if the “magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism … interferes with the school’s ability to function,” which is similar to the agency’s recommendation on school closures during the seasonal flu season.
Schools that were closed based on previous interim CDC guidance related to this outbreak may reopen.
For individuals who become sick with the flu, CDC is advising them to stay home from work or school for one week so as not to infect others.
SDI develops Web site for asthma patients
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. A company that develops healthcare data products has launched a new Web site offering advice to people with asthma in recognition of World Asthma Day, on Tuesday.
The Web site, Azma.com, offers advice and tools including four-day air quality forecasts, 30-day history for all U.S. ZIP codes, alert emails, two-city asthma comparison tools and desktop add-ons with one-day and four-day air quality forecasts.
“According to a recent report by the American Lung Association, asthma prevalence appears to have stabilized, possibly indicating an improved level of disease management,” stated SDI CEO Andrew Kress. “Building on our experience providing actionable disease information around allergies and flu to patients, we created Azma.com to aid in the disease management by providing a resource for asthma sufferers and their families for up-to-date, relevant information that they can turn to 24 hours a day for advice and instruction on managing their asthma.”
Number of swine flu cases grows
ATLANTA According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update on confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza infections, there are now 403 confirmed cases across 38 states. The number has grown from 286 confirmed cases across 36 states reported Monday, though CDC officials reported that the influenza outbreak appears to be toward the end of its course during morning news programs earlier today.
There continues to be only one reported death attributed to the H1N1 virus in Texas.
The confirmed cases include, by state:
Alabama 4 Arizona 17 California 49 Colorado 6 Connecticut 2 Delaware 20 Florida 5 Georgia 1 Idaho 1 Illinois 82 Indiana 3 Iowa 1 Kansas 2 Kentucky 1 Louisiana 7 Maine 1 Maryland 4 Massachusetts 6 Michigan 2 Minnesota 1 Missouri 1 Nebraska 1 Nevada 1 New Hampshire 1 New Jersey 6 New Mexico 1 New York 90 North Carolina 1 Ohio 3 Oregon 15 Pennsylvania 1 Rhode Island 1 South Carolina 16 Tennessee 2Texas 41Utah 1 Virginia 3 Wisconsin 3
CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks, the agency continued to state.