The following is an email sent from the Wellness Center on campus late last week. We have re-published it here because it has been recommended to higher ed institutions by the Centers for Disease Control to do so.
H1N1 (Swine) Flu Information for the Multnomah University Community
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been reporting about the outbreak of H1N1 (Swine Flu) and cases have now been reported in Oregon. There is also now evidence that the flu can be passed from human to human. Travelers to and from the affected areas are advised by the CDC to exercise caution.
Public health officials in Oregon and Multnomah County are monitoring the situation and will continue to offer direction and advice, as cited below. Multnomah University is collaborating with these officials by monitoring this situation on our campus and putting their recommendations into effect. Multnomah University will help identify persons that may have the H1N1 (swine flu), ensure that persons with symptoms are not spreading the disease, and encourage all persons with symptoms to see their local physician, urgent care facility or the emergency room immediately. Please know that the university has a response plan in place should we need it activate it.
For prevention, MU is doing the following
- Wellness Center is monitoring local and national outbreak developments and has created posters reminding the community to increase hand washing/sanitizing
- Dining Staff has increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures in all dining facilities
- Custodial crews have increased cleaning and sanitization of surfaces, doorknobs and bathrooms around campus
- Hand sanitizer has been placed in classrooms and in strategic places around campus (although frequent hand washing is still recommended)
- Appropriate staff and faculty have been notified to be ready with their departmental responses should the response plan be activated
Symptoms & What to do if you think you have it
H1N1 (swine flu) is a highly contagious respiratory disease characterized by high fever over 100.4 , cough, sneezing, sore throat, body aches, nasal congestion and fatigue - and in some cases nausea and vomiting.
If you have above symptoms:
- Please first call the Wellness Center at 503.251.6685 as soon as you notice the first symptoms, so Nurse Jana can assist you in getting the proper care.
- See a medical doctor! It is important that you be treated by a physician within the first two days of the above symptoms to see if you need an antiviral medication that will lesson the symptoms and the duration of your illness. (Note: this medication is not going to be helpful after that time frame.)
- Avoid exposing others to your illness! You may get a protective face mask from the Wellness Center. (If you have flu symptoms, these should be worn while around others in addition to avoiding being around others as much as possible.)
How you can help avoid H1N1 (Swine Flu)
H1N1 (Swine Flu), like any other influenza, is spread from person to person by being exposed to respiratory droplets from infected people.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often 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 that way.
- If you are ill, stay home or in your residence hall room away from others.
- Wipe down surfaces that may have become contaminated with disinfectant wipes. Staff and Faculty may wish to keep on hand a container of disinfectant wipes for use in their offices and/or classrooms.
- Wear a face mask when there may be others around you with flu symptoms. These can be found in the Wellness Center and at a number of stores nearby.
Again, if you think you have the flu, please call Nurse Jana to ensure that you are doing everything possible to prevent further spreading of the illness. This is very important!
We will continue to monitor this issue and contact you if any important new local developments arise about the occurrence of the disease. In the meantime, we encourage our community members to learn more about H1N1 (Swine Flu) by visiting one or more of the websites listed below.
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Multnomah County Health Department
Jana Poling, RN