New Haven Schools Try To Stop Swine

New Haven public schools are using an aggressive campaign against the swine flu this school year.

Officials sent letters to parents and installed hand sanitizer pumps. The goal is to keep schools open. “If staff and children are sick, they should stay home,” says William Clark, COO of the New Haven’s Public Schools

It’s a straightforward message school officials are hoping will be effective. The city's Health Department estimates more than 3,000 people got the swine flu in New Haven during last school year, 70% were students.

So this year Clark says the Board of Education is being more proactive. “We added the hand sanitizers, the soap dispensers, the posters of what kids can do to help them stay healthy and we'll continue to reinforce that in the classroom as much as possible.”

400 hand sanitizer pumps were distributed to the city’s 47 public schools.

They're also reaching out to parents with letters that explain the virus, its symptoms and how to deal with it.

But school official’s say they cant keep kids healthy alone and need the state to step in with a vaccine.

It’s help that may come sooner than expected says Dr. Kevin Diekhaus, Chief of Infectious Diseases Division at UCONN. “Right now it looks like the vaccine is going to become available around mid-October by mid October we're expecting to have 45 million doses available in the US,” he said

Parents registering their kids at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven say they're ready to do their part. “It’s up to the parents to watch their kids. If your kid is sick if you think there’s any possibility that its the swine flu keep your kid home and call your doctor,” says Sheila Hebert.

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