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Gloves, masks to be distributed to schools to prevent flu

Millions of protective masks and gloves will be distributed to schools throughout California to prevent the spread of swine and seasonal flu, state and county officials announced today.

Purchased with federal grants, the 23 million masks and gloves will be used by ill students as well as the nurses who examine them.

“We want to keep students, teachers and staff healthy and in school,” said state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. “Thanks to federal grant funding, we can provide masks and gloves … to schools free of charge.”

Hospitalizations from the H1N1 virus reached an all-time high in California last week, with nearly 800 people throughout the state hospitalized. But health officials believe the illness has peaked locally, though they warn that there could be another wave later this winter.

Suspected swine flu outbreaks have occurred at schools in Los Angeles County and throughout the state since schools reopened. Young people are particularly susceptible to contracting swine flu, and are on the priority list to receive a vaccine. H1N1 is highly contagious, but symptoms tend to be mild in healthy people.

Unlike last spring, officials have not closed schools because of outbreaks. Instead, they are urging prevention -- washing hands frequently, sneezing into the elbow instead of the hand and getting the vaccination. Ill children should be kept home to avoid spreading the virus to their classmates, and can return to school once they are fever-free for 24 hours.

-- Seema Mehta

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Comments () | Archives (11)

What a waste of money that could've gone for more important things needed in schools. Are we really that stupid, I think so, unfortunately, sheeple.

The person who is sick wearing a mask? It doesn't work that way. What a horrible use of 23 million when our schools are desperate for money. Shame on you!

Pursuant to CDC guidance: "Use of N95 respirators or facemasks generally is not recommended for workers in non-healthcare occupational settings for general work activities." Please reference the composite guidance at: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/masks.htm

Cindy - They said 23 million MASKS will be distributed, NOT that the masks are costing us 23 million. Maybe if you didn't stay home sick all the time you could have gone to school and learned how to read.

Anyway, while there are plenty of other uses for the money, this will perhaps save California money in health care in the overall scheme of things.

To quote the CDC: "c) the ill person should be asked to follow good cough etiquette and hand hygiene and to wear a facemask, if able, and one is available;"

So, yes, the school is following CDC recommendations.

Please read http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/masks.htm#table1 for more information.

Kudos to the Public School Administrators for reading the CDC site and following insrtuctions. I wish more individuals did that...

A good and intelligent act to keep teh children from drowning into infections of the flu.

I was on vacation in Vegas over the holiday and the Wallgreens there all got a major shipment of the H1N1 vaccine. I had not been able to find it in LA and did not have the patience to wait in line for hours at the county distribution centers. I got the vaccine on thanskgiving day in Las Vegas and there was no wait - I was the only one in the store getting the vaccine when I was there. So if you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and you can not find the H1N109 vaccine here in LA, you might check out the Wallgreens in Vegas. They will ask you if you are in one of the high risk groups.

What a stupid idea and waste of resources! How about sending kids home from school if they are sick????

Agree with comment#1.What a waste of tax payers money for masks and gloves.Best solution keep your sick child home,and keep good hand washing techniques in school.

A simple three step cleaning process can help prevent the spread of flu viruses and kill up to 99.99999% of germs. You have to completely decontaminate the room, and then prevent re-contamination with effective cleaners and sanitizers. Read more here: http://www.cleanphirst.com/cleaning-information-news/2009/11/preventing-flu.html

I think this was quite a commendable step that had been taken to safeguard the health of the school students. Indeed these children are our future.


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