We learned that many U.S. schools are not prepared to face an infectious disease pandemic.
Schools can quickly turn into a hot bed for spreading infectious diseases such as H1N1 or other flu variants. A survey conducted by researchers at Saint Louis University found that most U.S. elementary, middle and high schools are not adequately prepared to address such a pandemic.
According to the findings, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, only 48 percent of schools have a set pandemic preparedness plan, and of that 48 percent, only 40 percent of schools have updated their pandemic preparedness plan since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
Furthermore, 44 percent of U.S. schools do not participate in community surveillance programs, which track the presence of diseases based upon symptoms reported in the area. These surveillance programs help experts quickly identify and respond to infectious disease outbreaks to avoid a pandemic situation.