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Schools using social media to educate students about swine flu


The Santa Clara, Calif., county health department is putting together an educational campaign for area high schools that uses social media to teach students how to guard against swine flu, reports the San Jose Mercury News. According to county health officer Marty Fenstersheib, 17 is the median age of swine flu victims. So the health department soon will be sending a "toolkit" to area high schools outlining a campaign that will use social media, such as a YouTube video contest, to develop flu prevention messages. The toolbox also will include materials and information to help students run their own peer-to-peer education campaign. According to Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District assistant superintendent Bob Mistele, "We’ve communicated to teachers the same commonsense precautions they would take for the regular flu. When a student contracts the flu, the student goes home." Mistele said if the county health department determines there is indeed a swine flu threat, the district is prepared: "We’ve really tried to prepare should this escalate. We’ll utilize eMail to all the parents and our school messenger [phone] system. We won’t be sending any notes home with students–that’s not effective. For high school students, Facebook and Twitter are the most effective forms of communication."

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