||H1N1 (SWINE FLU) INFORMATION
Last June, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that an H1N1 influenza pandemic is underway. “Pandemic” reflects the worldwide spread of the H1N1 virus, not the severity of the illness that it causes.
Even though the virus has spread quickly, most people who have contracted H1N1 influenza have had mild illness. It's uncertain at this time how severe the H1N1 influenza pandemic will be in terms of how many people infected will develop serious complications.
New studies show that those ill with H1N1 flu can spread the virus for a week or more after symptoms first appear. Although health officials have been instructing people to avoid contact with others for a day after being free from fever, new research suggests that they need to be careful for longer—especially where the risk of spreading the germ is highest.
Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and
deaths have been reported with H1N1 flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu,
H1N1 may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
Parsons Student Health Center has the H1N1 vaccine available for all students, faculty, staff, retired employees, and spouses of employees. Both the the inactivated H1N1 shot and the live, attenuated (weakened) H1N1 nasal spray vaccine are available. There is no cost for the vaccine or for the administration of the vaccine.
Response and Recommendations
One of the best ways to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated.
Centre encourages all faculty, staff and students to get the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine, which are available at Parsons Student Health Center.
Those with flu-like illness should self-isolate—staying away from classes and limiting interactions with other people, except to seek medical care—for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.Click here for further information about steps to take should you become ill with flu-like illness.
If a student reports with symptoms that are likely flu and not likely another illness, we hope that the student and his or her family will arrange for the student to go home (provided the student lives within driving distance to campus and the family can provide transportation) until the fever abates, plus one day.
If the student cannot go home and the student can recover on campus, the student will be relocated to an isolation space. Dining services will provide food delivery to ill students. Hospitalization is an option for those students who are too ill to remain on campus.
Students with a private room should remain in their room and receive care and meals from a single person. Students can establish a “flu buddy scheme” in which students pair up to care for each other if one or the other becomes ill.
Each student should select a flu buddy who will help him should he become ill with H1N1 flu. If the ill student is self-isolating, his flu buddy will pick up his meals at the Campus Center. Flu buddies cannot be students with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease. They cannot have an immune system disorder or be on immunosuppressive medication.
Staff can make daily contact with each student who is in self-isolation via e-mail, text messaging, phone calls, or other methods.
If persons with flu symptoms must leave their home or room (for example, to seek medical care or other necessities), they should take extra precautions to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. A surgical loose-fitting mask can be helpful for persons who have access to these, but a tissue or other covering is appropriate as well. (See ). Roommates, household members, or those caring for an ill person should follow guidance developed for caring for sick persons at home. (See Interim Guidance for H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home).
Persons who are at high risk of complications from H1N1 infection—for example, persons with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or blood, kidney, or liver disorders), children less than 5 years, persons 65 years or older, and pregnant women—should consider their risk of exposure to this new strain of influenza if they attend public gatherings in communities where flu is circulating.