Tell US Schools to Help Fight Flu Epidemic

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Target: United States School System

Goal: Take steps to prevent more fatalities from flu

The influenza currently sweeping across the U.S. has been listed as a health emergency by some states. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that it is the worst in a decade. It may even be worse the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. Even those who have a flu shot are at risk, as vaccinations are only around 60 to 70 percent effective. More than 2,200 have been hospitalized, and 18 children have been recorded dead. Those most at risk for a fatal outcome include children and the elderly. Tell schools across the U.S. to send home any child showing possible symptoms to help prevent the outbreak from spreading even further.

While there are steps you can take to lower the risk of catching the flu, such as washing your hands, it’s impossible to fully protect yourself. One of the highest risk situations is just being around other people, and going to school with anyone who is sick means putting yourself at risk, too. Schools are a breeding ground for bacteria. There are so many different people walking in and out, switching desks, touching shared surfaces, coughing or sneezing. If one child in a class of 30 sneezes, everyone around him is subject to getting hit with microscopic drops of snot and saliva. Also, in the winter months windows aren’t generally opened, meaning more circulation of the same air with the same germs.

With children being more at risk of getting a severe case of influenza, schools are probably one of the most likely places to contract it. Some parents will send a kid with a few sniffles to school so that he doesn’t have to deal with the stress of missing out on homework or a test. However, with the flu running rampant, sending a child to school could cause more problems than falling behind a few days. Attendance important, but health needs to come first. Tell schools across the U.S. to closely monitor their students and to send home anyone who may appear to have symptoms.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. Schools,

As you know, the influenza outbreak across the nation is wreaking serious havoc. Children are among the most susceptible to develop a severe case, with 18 recorded deaths across the country already. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that it may be the worst influenza outbreak in a decade, which includes the 2009 H1N1 epidemic. Unfortunately, schools are one of the highest risk places for a student to catch the flu.

While school attendance is of undeniable importance, right now the students’ health should take precedence. Any student showing possible symptoms such as a cough or a cold should be sent home. While these are minor and may not even be influenza, it’s not worth taking the chance. The only way the spread can be prevented is if all precautions are taken. Students may want to go to school even if they are feeling ill because they don’t want to fall behind. Schools need to make sure give ample time for a student to recover and catch up on their work, and stress to them how showing up sick will only put others at risk to get sick too, and is not worth avoiding make up homework.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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