The H1N1 flu virus, aka swine flu, could infect between 30 and 50 percent of the U.S. population if the virus reemerges this fall as expected. According to a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, an outbreak of the virus could cause up to 90,000 deaths in the U.S. and 1.8 million hospital admissions.

The report states that large outbreaks are predicted to occur in educational facilities as children return for the school year, with the number of infections possibly peaking in mid-October.

With a H1N1 vaccine possibly not being ready in time, hand washing will remain critical in limiting the virus’ spread. Jan/san distributors should be ready to supply customers with soap, hand sanitizer and signage encouraging users to frequently wash their hands. Distributors can also educate their customers to disinfect commonly touched surfaces; in schools these areas include water fountains, teacher and student desks and cafeteria trays.