The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is urging schools and daycare centers to take precautions to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu.
Two people in Colorado – both in the Denver area – have been confirmed to have the flu. More than 300 schools and daycares nationwide have been closed because of the flu.
Employees of daycares and schools should watch for signs and symptoms of flu: a fever higher than 100 degrees, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and body aches, fatigue, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea.
If students come to school with these symptoms, they should be sent home and remain there until 24 hours after the symptoms have been eliminated. .
Health department officials note that the vaccination for the 2008-09 seasonal flu does not provide protection against the swine flu.
Dr. Ned Calonge, the state’s chief medical officer, said that the H1N1 virus in the United States is acting just like seasonal flu, and is a relatively mild disease.
“There’s no reason to get tested if you have a mild illness,’ he said. “There’s no reason to have treatment with antiviral drugs if you have a mild case. The drugs reduce the duration of the illness by only a day or two.”
He said that testing and treatment should be reserved for people who are seriously ill or have other serious health problems.
“Schools should not require confirmed negative lab tests for re-admittance,” he said.
For more information about the swine flu, click here.