As students return for a new year of classes, Pittsburgh-area schools are taking preventative measures and offering special training because of concerns about H1N1 flu, also called swine flu.
WTAE Channel 4's Shannon Perrine visited South Brook Middle School in Brookline, where all 37 nurse practitioners in the Pittsburgh Public Schools gathered Tuesday for H1N1 training.
Watch Shannon's Report
"We're reminding everyone about universal health precautions, which is constant hand washing throughout the day, covering your cough and disposing of tissues and standard health practices. If you're sick, you need to stay home," said Janet Yuhasz, health services coordinator for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Also, the Plum Borough School District is taking precautions.
"Our custodians -- each and every day -- are sanitizing our children's desks," Plum spokeswoman Dawn Check said. "Every child's desk is being sanitized every night. We are sanitizing the door handles and things that are touched pretty frequently by children, just to take an extra precaution."
Signs are posted around school buildings, reminding people to wash their hands and take swine flu seriously.
"We encourage our children to wash their hands and, as they're scrubbing their hands, to sing their ABCs, count to 20, whatever they prefer, make sure their hands are well washed," Check said.
Coughing etiquette has also changed. Forget what your mother taught you about covering your mouth with your hands.
"To cough into your elbow, to cough into your sleeve, that is safer and more sanitary and spreads less germs," Check said.
says the following people should get the swine flu vaccine when it starts to be released in October:
- Pregnant women
- Those between ages of 6 months and 24 years
- Those between 35 and 65 who are in high-risk groups
- Those with weakened immune systems
Most healthy people over age 65 do not need H1N1 flu vaccine. Health experts say many of them were exposed to the virus 30 years ago and still have immunity.
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