Schools prepare for flu season

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – With the temperatures dipping a bit this week and students back in class, Horry County School health officials say they are gearing up for flu season, though it is expected to be much calmer than what was seen in 2009.

At Conway High School, Nurse Michelle Anderson says things are much quieter in her office compared to this time last year.

"We haven't had nearly the number of students come in with signs and symptoms of flu like we did last year," Anderson said. "Last year [at] this time, my office was full."

"As far as what we're seeing in schools right now, we're not seeing any activity," Gail Moss Director of Health Services for Horry County Schools reiterated.

Flip back to September 2009, and Horry County Schools were preparing for a major flu shot initiative across the county.

"Last year we partnered with DHEC and did the H1N1 clinics and gave the H1N1 vaccine because we were seeing so much H1N1 at that time," Moss explained.

With the World Health Organization announcing the H1N1 pandemic concerns are over, there will be no round two of free flu shots this season in Horry County Schools. For school health officials, however, that simply means it is back to basics.

"The main thing is good hand washing," Anderson stated.

Anderson says if it cannot be  soap and water, she encourages the next best thing: hand sanitizer.

"Yes," she said. "They actually use those lot and they're scattered throughout our school."

Nevertheless, she is hoping parents will take the initiative and still get their kids vaccinated.

"Don't skip it. Go get it," she added emphatically.

This year DHEC says the seasonal Flu shot and H1N1 vaccine have been rolled into one shot to make flu season preparations easier for people looking to protect themselves.

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