Influenza Alert

01/29/2014

Contributed by Laura Keefe

The Hammond Health Center has seen a sudden increase in visits from students suffering from symptoms of the flu (influenza). On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we have had 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. The CDC has reported that H1N1 (swine flu) influenza virus is circulating this season and that it may disproportionately affect young and middle-aged adults.

We strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff who have not yet received the influenza vaccine this season to get vaccinated.  We will be holding a walk-in influenza vaccine clinic at the Hammond Health Center on Thursday, January 30th from 2-4 p.m. which is open to all students, faculty, and staff. As always, students may also call the Health Center at 607-274-3177 to schedule a nurse visit to receive the influenza vaccine – free of charge.  Faculty/staff members who still need the vaccine, but are unable to attend the clinic on Thursday are encouraged to check with their local providers. We are ordering additional influenza vaccine supplies but can not guarantee unlimited availability due to national demand. 

Symptoms of influenza typically include abrupt onset of fever and body aches, often accompanied by sore throat, cough, headache, or decreased appetite. Students with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease or immunosuppression should contact the Health Center at 607-274-3177 if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms as antiviral medications are recommended. Students without any underlying medical conditions should contact the Health Center if they are experiencing particularly severe flu-like symptoms.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please help protect your fellow students. You should remain out of class or work until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Keep a safe distance from others – at least 6 feet; cover your cough; and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Professors and staff need to be aware that students with influenza must be excused from classes and job responsibilities - both for their health and the health of others on campus.

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