For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Tanya Bustamante, Public Health, (510) 981-5342


Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 10, 2007) - Berkeley students will be learning how to keep from getting – and spreading – the flu this season. The annual WHACK the Flu campaign will be returning to K-3 classrooms in Berkeley elementary schools beginning in October.

WHACK the Flu is a community education program sponsored by the City of Berkeley Public Health Division, that teaches school children improved hygiene habits such as how to wash hands appropriately and cover their coughs and sneezes. UC Berkeley volunteers have been recruited and trained to perform entertaining, yet educational, fifteen-minute classroom skit presentations.

The WHACK acronym is used for its appeal to children and stands for: 

W:  Wash your hands often;

H:  Home is where you stay when you are sick;

A:  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

C:  Cover your coughs and sneezes;

K:  Keep your distance from people who are coughing or sneezing.

This program is designed to reduce transmission of communicable diseases between K-3 children and those they’re in close contact with, and ultimately improve health outcomes of the K-3 student population and families. Since children are considered by many to be efficient “disease spreaders”, an intervention focused on them will reduce general sickness in the schools and community.

For additional information about the WHACK the Flu program, please contact Tanya Bustamante at 510-981-5342.