New school year comes with increased H1N1 concerns

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Numerous officials from the education and health sectors have joined emergency management experts in planning for more cases of the H1N1virus as the new school year gets underway.

There is a greater concern that H1N1 could become more prevalent as young people return to being in close quarters with one another.

Health experts caution that H1N1 behaves differently than the seasonal flu in that it tends to target a younger population. Children and young adults seem to be at greater risk of contracting the illness whereas the elderly are at greater risk of getting the seasonal flu.

School officials in Fayette County say they do not intend to close school down if a student gets the H1N1 virus. Instead, they will keep a close eye on attendance rates and consult with the health department as to whether or not a closure will be necessary.

A vaccine for the H1N1 virus is expected to be on the market in mid-October. The target population for the vaccine includes people who are between the ages of 6-months and 24-years-old.

Health officials say the best way to ward off the flu is to cover your cough, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick.

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