WASHINGTON — As the United States enters the traditional flu season, the number of schools forced to close because of the H1N1 influenza A (swine flu) virus has dropped considerably, according to USA Today.
Peaking at 301 the week of October 22, 2009, the number of school closings nationwide has been on the decline for the past two months, the story stated.
Amy Garcia, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), said: "We should not assume this epidemic is over. It is my sense that epidemics come in waves, and this is probably a temporary downturn. I do not think we should in anyway be less vigilant or slow down on our efforts to protect those vulnerable to H1N1 or seasonal flu."
The downturn in school closings directly reflects the hardwork and determination of custodial professionals to hygienically clean and disinfect surfaces in schools across the country, the story noted.
According to the story, many schools changed their closure policies this fall and close only "as a last resort," generally when infection rates reach 40 percent or higher.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is stressing that the decline in infection rates, and the subsequent downturn in the number of school closures, is not cause for complacency and the public should remain vigilant and continue to practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, limiting contact with sick persons and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, the story added.
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