Majority Of U.S. Schools Unprepared For Pandemic

Less than half of U.S. schools have plans in place to prevent or address a widespread pandemic, according to a study published in the new issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. Just 40 percent of schools have updated their plans since the widespread outbreak of H1N1, or swine flu, in 2009. Despite the fact that the H1N1 pandemic disproportionately affected school-age children, the lead author of the study explained that “findings from this study suggest that most schools are even less prepared for an infectious disease disaster, such as a pandemic, compared to a natural disaster or other type of event.” Over the past few months, the country has seen an uptick in the spread of whooping cough, but state budget cuts have hampered public officials’ response to outbreaks.