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School closings due to H1N1 continue to pile up across Wisconsin

Anonymous Coward
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10/28/2009 02:33 PM
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School closings due to H1N1 continue to pile up across Wisconsin
School closings due to H1N1 continue to pile up across Wisconsin

The Department of Health Services continues to report new school closings across Wisconsin on a daily basis.

Among the most recent closures due to influenza-like Illness are: the Elcho School District, Elcho; Greenland Elementary, Oconomowoc area; Prairie River Middle School, Merrill; Martin Luther School, Neenah; North Lakeland School, Manitowish Waters;Good Shephard Elementary School, Watertown; Lac Du Flambeau Elementary School, Lac Du Flambeau; and St. Peter's Catholic School, East Troy. The schools have been closed at least through next Monday, Nov. 2.

Zion Lutheran School in Menomonee Falls was closed today (Wednesday) and will remain closed at least through next Wednesday.

Several schools have been closed for more than a week.

Other schools that have been previously closed were East Junior High School, Wisconsin Rapids; Morning Star Lutheran School, Jackson; Eau Claire Lutheran School, Eau Claire; St. Paul's Lutheran School, Wonewoc; Marinette High School, Marinette; Oxford Elementary School, Westfield; St. Peter's Lutheran School, Schofield; South Elementary School, Hartland-Lakeside; Mount Calvary Lutheran School, Menasha; Canterbury Elementary School, Greendale; New Century Charter School, Verona; Walworth Elementary and Walworth Middle School; Crandon School District, Crandon; St. Paul Lutheran School, Green Bay Area; St. Peter Lutheran School, Appleton; Notre Dame Elementary & Middle School, De Pere; Ashwaubenon High School, Ashwaubenon; New Lutheran High School, Green Bay Area; Medford School District, Medford; River Valley Middle School, River Valley; and Wisconsin Dells Schools, Wisconsin Dells.

Prioritization of H1N1 Vaccine

The Department of Health Services (DHS) is recommending that local health departments and health professionals target H1N1 vaccine for those individuals most-at-risk during the next several weeks as the vaccine supply continues to fluctuate.

DHS has also requested that, beginning next week, public and private health care providers refrain from mass public vaccination clinics, unless they are targeted at those most at risk. As of today, Wisconsin has been allocated a total of 407,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine.

“As we have seen in every state in the nation, the supply of H1N1 vaccine is unpredictable. Therefore, the safest course of action is to target the vaccine we do have for those who are most-at-risk of becoming seriously ill from this virus,” says Secretary Karen Timberlake. “While we do not anticipate this will need to be a long-term strategy, we’ve issued guidance to help our health professionals make the largest impact with the vaccine that is available.”

DHS is now recommending that the public health and health care community focus vaccination efforts on the following subset of CDC’s target groups:

• Pregnant women

• Persons who live with or provide care for infants age 6 months or younger (examples: parents, siblings, daycare providers)

• Health care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material

• Children age 6 months - 4 years

• Children and adolescents age 5-18 years who have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications (see attached letter for list of chronic medical conditions)

These recommendations are consistent with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices guidelines when vaccine supply is limited. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advises the CDC.

“The CDC had to choose between waiting to distribute vaccine until it had large quantities ready to be shipped or distributing limited quantities of the vaccine sooner,” says Secretary Timberlake. “The CDC chose the latter knowing it would create some challenges and frustrations for health care providers and the public, but also realizing it would allow us to start protecting people against this virus as soon as possible.”

Community vaccination clinics will resume as H1N1 vaccine becomes more readily available. People may call 2-1-1 to find out an H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine clinic nearest them. A “clinic finder” is also available online at [link to pandemic.wisconsin.gov] or www.wisconsinfluclinic.info.
[link to www.newrichmond-news.com]