H1N1 Flu Update from President Mary Thornley
The college is in intensive planning for both seasonal flu and the H1N1 pandemic flu. As flu viruses can easily spread from person to person, we encourage you to talk with your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. Also, if you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm. We will be monitoring flu conditions and making decisions about the best steps to take concerning the college. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available. In addition to flu vaccinations, other steps you can take to limit the spread of flu and to stay healthy include:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
- Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
- Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness.
Symptoms of flu (both seasonal and H1N1 flu) include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. A fever is a temperature that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius when taken with a thermometer. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Other signs of fever include having chills, feeling very warm, having a flushed appearance, or sweating.