Friday, June 19, 2009

H1N1 and its Effect on Children with Disabilities

The panic surrounding the “swine flu” that went global in late April and early May has subsided, but health officials have warned that a new strain could emerge this fall in time for fall. Back to school always elicits extra care by school officials in dealing with infectious diseases, as once again children and their germs mingle in the classroom, on the playground and in the yellow school bus. Now, a report released earlier this month indicates that children with special needs must be especially cautious.

We’ve known that the H1N1 virus can be fatal to anyone with underlying conditions, with most severe cases occuring in people over 65 or under 18. New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene puts into context why those with underlying medical conditions should take extra precautions to avoid the flu and should contact their doctor as soon as possible if they are found to have flu-like symptoms.

The department’s preliminary analysis of 152 patients who were hospitalized for swine flu showed that 82 percent had an underlying condition, specifically:
• 41 percent of patients hospitalized for swine flu had asthma
• 18 percent were less than 2 years old
• 13 percent had a compromised immune system
• 12 percent had heart disease
• Other factors include being pregnant; other chronic lung problems, such as emphysema; chronic heart, kidney, liver or blood disorders; neurological disorders that cause breathing problems; diabetes; and being under 18 years old and on long-term aspirin therapy.

Is your school team taking special or additional precautions to protect special needs passengers? Does pre-service training differ this year when it comes to dealing with infectious diseases on the school bus?

1 comment:

  1. hello friends I really liked this information, a few days ago I read something similar on a site called wound infections, I would like to receive updates on this issue, as it is very interesting, thanks!


We want this to be an open forum for the hundreds of thousands of people that are involved in transporting special needs students each day. We want to hear what you think, what's going on at your facility and what solutions you've found. But, please, keep it civil. Just like on the bus, we'll have no tolerance for attacks or anything defamatory. We won't write you up, but we'll delete the comments right away. So don't bother. But if you have something to share, this is your place.

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