ISSAQUAH—There's only about a month to go until your kids head back to school and this year. There's growing concern about swine flu.
The virus is expected to get worse just in time for the new school year but a vaccine won't be ready until October.
Ask any parent and they will tell you schools are filled with germs... colds and the flu are passed around easily from one child to another and then to their families and this fall could be the worst in a long time.
Issaquah parent Lisa Dawes says; "I'm really concerned about swine flu in the fall."
Lisa Dawes is shopping for school supplies. We get back to her in a moment, but first a look at what is being done right now at her children's school in Issaquah.
Issaquah School spokesperson Sara Niegowski says; "Scrub crews coming in and wiping everything down really getting into the carpet and so some serious cleaning."
That is pretty much normal preparation, but just before classes start they will do even more.
Niegowski; "A few days before students come back we're going have our janitors go back through with their multi-purpose disinfectant which they use for all their cleaning anyway and wipe down those areas where students congregate, desks, door handles, fountains."
That second round of cleaning is just to be on the safe side. The department of health says anything other than routine cleaning is not really necessary, because the flu is most often spread through the air.
Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health Seattle/King County says; "The primary way in which swine flu and all flu is spread is through little droplets that are expelled when someone coughs or sneezes, cover your coughs with the crook of the elbow preferentially if you have to cough if there and you're there and you're becoming ill go home."
The start of school is still a month away but already parents are in department stored shopping for their back to school supplies and they're working off of school supply lists like this that include hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes and that brings us back to Lisa Dawes.
Dawes says; "We've got colored pencils and crayons and of course the mega pack of glue sticks." Along with all that she she's got the hand sanitizer. Not one but two.
Dawes says; "It's a required thing. You get a school list every year and on it you're required to have hand sanitizer, the kind with pumps. They want volume."
When the vaccine does arrive it could be in short supply and will be given first to those at increased risk, including pregnant women, children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years, healthcare workers and those with underlying health conditions.
Seattle is one of 8 cities across the country taking part in swine flu vaccine tests. If you're an adult and would like to participate in a local swine-flu vaccine study here's what you need to do:
Group Health members call 206-287-2061 to sign-up. The University of Washington is also doing adult testing for non-Group Health members. Call the UW Virology Research Clinic at 206-720-4340
Right now enrollment for tests related to babies and children has not begun, but you can call and leave your information. Once they do start taking participants, they'll call you back. Call Seattle Children's Hospital at 206-884-1100.