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Swine Flu at School and Work

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released guidelines to help business owners and educators handle the upcoming swine flu season.  The following covers CDC recommendations about what to do at school and work with regards to the swine flu.

Swine Flu at School

It’s easy to get sick living on a campus full of young adults. This is especially true for swine flu because young adults are at greater risk for infection than the elderly. It is very important that college students take precautions to protect themselves and their classmates.

If you’re a college student and sick with the swine flu virus, your grades might take a hit. The CDC recommends that infected students avoid contact with anyone for at least 24 hours after their fever breaks.

You will have to miss your classes, avoid going out to eat and not socialize with anyone. In short, avoid doing anything that could possibly infect someone else. If you have a roommate, stay at least 6 feet away from them at all times.

Most dorm rooms are very small. And in addition to sharing a room, students also share bathroom space. These confined spaces put everyone at risk. Plus, it’s difficult to stay 6 feet away from someone when there’s hardly any room.

The CDC suggests sick students be given temporary housing away from other students. A private dorm room can suffice for a single student. If numerous students are sick, it is suggested they go home or be housed together in a large living area until they recover.

High schools and elementary schools are advised to remain open unless circumstances become extreme. If too many staff members become sick and the school doesn’t have enough people to continue operating then the school should be closed.

If sick students outnumber well students, school should be closed. Otherwise, sick students should be sent home so classes can continue as normal. The CDC suggests that educators create home schooling plans so students can continue learning during the outbreak.

Swine Flu at Work

Sick people often go to work because they fear being fired. However, going to work sick doesn’t do anyone any good. All it does is put everyone at the workplace in danger of getting sick.

The CDC suggests that business owners make sure employees feel free to stay home when they’re sick. In fact, it should be encouraged.

Employees should not return to work until at least 24 hours after they are fever free. It is also suggested that employers allow workers to stay home if they need to care for a sick child.

Workers should also be encouraged to stay home if their child’s school is closed because of a swine flu outbreak. It should be clear that workers will not be penalized for the time off.

If a worker gets sick on the job, they should be sent home immediately. They will probably miss 4 or 5 days from work while they recover. Assure the employee they won’t be penalized for missing work under these circumstances.

The CDC also encourages business owners to:

  • Make sure soap and hand sanitizers are readily available to all workers. Stock bathrooms and kitchen areas with the proper products.
  • Hang signs and notes encouraging workers to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough. Remind them to regularly wash their hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and workstations. Provide cleaners and cloths so workers can easily clean during the day.

Get Vaccinated

Finally, the CDC advises students and workers receive the swine flu vaccination. Educators and employers should work to make receiving the vaccination convenient. The easier it is the more likely people will get vaccinated.

Following these suggestions can help keep a swine flu outbreak under control.

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