Flu season starts officially on Sunday, and while the government has been urging schools to close only as a last resort in the battle against H1N1, there have already been at least 187 school closures since the school year started last month. Ross Hammond from the Brookings Institution discusses his new report that reveals that the true cost to the nation of closing schools and day care centers could be as much as $47 billion. Kathleen Murphy is a registered nurse and the health services coordinator for the Milwaukee Public Schools; she tells us what her school district is doing to prevent closings. We also speak to Dr. Faheem Younus, the medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the Upper Chesapeake Health Center in Bel Air, Md., who has some practical advice for parents who can't take the day off of work.
"Approximately 75-80% [of students] eat two meals a day at school, so right there, when schools close, there's an impact on their nutritional status and a family's ability to meet that child's needs."
—Kathleen Murphy, registered nurse and health services coordinator for the Milwaukee Public Schools, on a side effect of closing schools in case of an H1N1 outbreak