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Aug. 24 Flu Memo to Students

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The following letter was sent to all students on Aug. 24, 2009

 

Dear Students,  

Welcome (or welcome back) to Southwestern. We hope you had an enjoyable summer.

As you know, public officials have issued predictions of an outbreak of H1N1 flu this fall, in addition to the “usual” seasonal flu. Flu can be spread easily from person to person and the groups that appear to be most likely to contract H1N1 flu in particular include high school and college-age students.

We are taking many steps to prevent the spread of flu at Southwestern, but we need your help to accomplish this.

First, we are offering vaccines against seasonal flu as well as the 2009 H1N1 flu here on campus. Seasonal flu vaccines will be available in the Bishops Lounge (first floor of the Campus Center) this Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 1-5 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost of the vaccine is $12, and payment by cash, check, credit card or Pirate Bucs will be accepted on site.

Vaccines for the 2009 H1N1 flu are expected to be available in mid-October.

Here are a few more things you can do to help:

  • 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 because germs are spread this way.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. These include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. Fever is temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of flu can also include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea or vomiting.

    IMPORTANT:  If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please go to Health Services
    , which is located on the first floor of the Robertson Center.

If you are diagnosed with the flu, we are going to ask that you self-isolate (remove yourself from contact from other people) for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever without being on fever-reducing medication.  This can be done in one of the following ways:                        

  1.   If you live on campus or in off-campus housing, return home to your permanent residence (for example, your parents’ home) if possible.

      2.   If you are unable to go home and live in an on-campus apartment, stay in your apartment and confine yourself to your bedroom and bathroom.

      3.   If you live in Brown-Cody, Kurth, Mabee, Ruter, Herman Brown, Moody-Shearn or a fraternity house and cannot return home, we will have a limited
            number of rooms on campus that will be designated as isolation rooms.

If you need to be isolated with the flu here on campus, our Resident Associates will deliver food to you and our health services staff will make daily contact with you. You should contact your professors and let them know that you are unable to attend class because of the flu.

Again, if you feel you are experiencing flu symptoms, it is imperative for you to go to the health center to receive support.

For up-to-date flu information, please visit our flu Web page at www.southwestern.edu/flu.

The Emergency Management and Flu Team

Jerry Brody, Vice President for Student Life
Jim Hunt, Provost
Richard Anderson, Vice President for Fiscal Affairs
Co-chairs