WEIGEL HEALTH CENTER

About H1N1

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that spreads easily among individuals. This year there is a new and different flu virus spreading around the world. This virus is called the H1N1 flu and may cause more illness and more severe illness than usual. Because of the large number of people who live together and are in close contact with one another, college students are especially likely to become sick with the virus. Please take a moment to read these instructions.

High Risk Individuals | Protect Against the Flu | Symptoms of the Flu | Emergency Warning Signs | What to do if you get the flu | What to do if your roommate is sick with the flu | Recommended Supplies | Resources |

High Risk Individuals (Individuals at increased risk of severe or complicated disease)

  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Chronic diseases of lung (including asthma), heart (except hypertension), kidney, liver, nervous system, metabolic (including Diabetes), and hematological (including Sickle Cell).
  • Immunosuppression including that caused by medication (including prednisone) or HIV infection.
  • Individuals younger than 19 who are taking long term aspirin therapy.
    Children under the age of 5, especially those under age 2.
  • Individuals under the age of 24 who are taking long term aspirin therapy.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Residents of nursing homes or chronic care facilities.

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Protect against the flu

  • Get vaccinated with both the seasonal flu  vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine when available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away when used.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay a distance of 6 feet away from sick people.

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Symptoms of the flu

  • Fever above 100°  (may be higher)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Vomiting
  • Sometimes diarrhea

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Emergency Warning Signs

The following Emergency Warning Signs require immediate evaluation by a health care professional. Students should go to an emergency room if the Weigel Health Center is closed.

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

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What to do if you get the flu

If you develop flu-like symptoms with a fever over 100 and a cough or sore throat—call the Weigel Health Center at 878-6711.

  • Consider going home if you live nearby but avoid public transportation. If you go home, avoid exposing any family members who may have a chronic illness.
  • Stay in your room and avoid close contact with others for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without use of fever-reducing medication) except to get medical care or other necessities. Ask a roommate or a friend to bring food and fluids from the dining hall.
  • Refrain from close contact.
  • Rest
  • If you must leave your room to get medical care or obtain necessary supplies cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. If available a loose fitting mask should be worn.
  • Let your RA know that you have the flu.
  • If you miss classes notify your professors via e-mail or use the contact method identified in the syllabus. Do not come to the Weigel Health Center strictly for a note.
  • Drink lots of fluids, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever and pain (students under the age of 18 should avoid taking aspirin.
  • Those with flu-like illness should stay away from classes and limit interactions with other people except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever of 100° or greater, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Antiviral medications are only indicated for those who are in a high risk group or who have severe disease requiring hospitalization. Antiviral medications should be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Preventative use of antiviral medication is only indicated for an exposed high risk individual.
  • All high risk or severely ill students should be seen in the Weigel Health Center or by their own physician. Other students may contact the Weigel Health Center by phone (878-6711) if they have questions or are concerned about the severity of their illness. If the Weigel Health Center is closed the student may contact Fonemed (1-866-710-1002) for guidance — free of charge.

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What steps should I take if my roommate is sick with the flu?

  • You should limit your contact and try to maintain a distance of 6 feet from your ill roommate.
  • If close contact cannot be avoided, your sick roommate should wear a surgical mask when he/she is around you and other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap or a hand sanitizer. Keep yourself healthy by taking adequate fluids, proper nutrition and adequate sleep.
  • You should frequently clean commonly-touched surfaces with a household cleaner including doorknobs, faucets,
  • If you have a chronic medical condition; e.g., asthma or diabetes you should contact the Weigel Health Center at 878-6711 for an appointment to be evaluated.

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Recommended Supplies

  • Thermometer
  • Kleenex
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lozenges

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Resources

More information is available at

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

SUNY H1N1 News and Resources

New York State Department of Health

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