2:13 pm
Thu August 20, 2009

Schools Shouldn't Close for H1N1

Frankfort, KY – The H1-N1 virus, or swine flu, has already surfaced in some Kentucky schools. Flu outbreaks in school traditionally come in the late fall and winter, so seeing an outbreak in August is unusual. Still State public health commissioner William Hacker says closing schools is not always the best way to limit the spread of swine flu.

"Early on in this outbreak school closures were done very quickly because
there was an attempt to try and prevent the spreading of the virus amongst
children or out in the community now that the h1-n1 strain is pretty well
integrated across the country in the communities not just in the school age
kids, closing schools doesn't accomplish that."

Hacker says the symptoms of the H1-N1 flu are about the same as seasonal flu. He says the virulence of swine flu could still change in the months ahead. He says 200 cases of H1-N1 have been reported Kentucky since May. That compares with one case of seasonal flu in both July and August.