Schools Are Ground Zero in Swine Flu Fight

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2009 1:24 AM CDT
Soon-to-be kindergartners rub hand sanitizer on their hands before going to lunch at a summer school program in Montgomery County's Brookhaven Elementary School, in Rockville, Md.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Groups of kids or young adults in close proximity, often with lax sanitary standards, make typical school conditions hot spots for a swine flu resurgence, reports the Washington Post. To make matters worse, people 6 months to 24 years old appear to be especially susceptible to the H1N1 virus. But unless conditions quickly deteriorate, schools plan to remain open.

Educational facilities are also ideal places for efforts to combat the virus with mass immunizations for students, according to health officials. So far, swine flu is no more deadly than regular seasonal flu strains, but if a widespread outbreak occurs, America could see the largest immunization effort since the polio vaccines of the 1960s.