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Influenza H1N1 (Swine Flu)

Past Communication - 10/30/09

H1N1 Update

Dear Loyola Community,

Currently, Loyola is seeing a small increase in the number of H1N1 flu cases on campus, as are most institutions across the country. The cases we see continue to be mild to moderate in severity, and they are resolving as expected. With Halloween this weekend, the Wellness Center would like to remind you about the actions that each of you can take to decrease your chances of infection.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, as germs spread more easily that way.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Get a seasonal and H1N1 flu shot when it becomes available. If you haven’t been able to obtain one, focus on the tips above to decrease your chances of infection.
  • Do not share cups or bottles when drinking any types of liquid.

And, if you’re planning to celebrate Halloween, please keep in mind:

  • Drinking games, like beer pong, have been attributed by some to various cases of H1N1 among college students.
  • Alcohol does not kill the flu virus or prevent its spread from person to person.
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can weaken your immune system, making your body more vulnerable to infections.

Do what you can to fight viruses like H1N1 and stay healthy; get regular sleep, eat nutritious foods, exercise, and avoid drinking too much alcohol and using other drugs.

If you think you have the flu:

  • Stay home (and away from classes) and limit interaction with other people (called "self-isolation"), except to seek medical care.
  • Do not return to campus or class for at least 24 hours after being fever-free (even when not using a fever-reducing medicine). Some people with influenza will not have a fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. (For more information, visit cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/exclusion.htm.)
  • If possible, residential students with a flu-like illness who live relatively close to the campus should return to their home. Please do so in a manner that limits contact with others as much as possible. For example, travel by private car or taxi, as opposed to taking public transportation.
  • Students with a private room, or those who cannot leave campus, 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. If close contact with others cannot be avoided, the ill student should wear a surgical mask during the periods of contact.
  • Promptly seek medical attention if you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of severe illness from flu, you are concerned about your illness, or you develop severe symptoms, such as increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or rapid breathing.

Symptoms of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) are similar to seasonal influenza and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. Students experiencing flu-like symptoms should call the Wellness Center at 773.508.8883. Faculty and staff members should contact their health care providers.

Get Updates Every Day
In addition to visiting this website, you can now receive ongoing updates, news, events, and health tips from the Wellness Center by following them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LoyolaWellness or by reading their blog on igNation at blogs.luc.edu/wellnesscenter.

Sincerely,

Diane Asaro, MSN, RN, BC
Director, Wellness Center