Know about H1N1 Virus
Ten things to know – H1N1 Viurs
There have been recent mild outbreaks on college campuses in the U.S., including some cases at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. While there have been no reported cases of any type of flu at BGSU so far this semester, the well-being of our students, faculty and staff remains our utmost concern. View the NBC 24 H1N1 video cast or the WTOL video cast with Barbara Hoffman, MSN, CNP from BGSU Student Health Service. BGSU is closely monitoring the situation with local health officials.
By taking some very simple precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting the flu and protect your fellow students or co-workers. Influenza is spread just like the common cold -- through droplets in the air and from direct contact with individuals with the virus. Touching surfaces previously contaminated by someone who has a virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth increases your chance of acquiring the virus. Here are 10 things you should know to be flu-savvy. Additional information is also available from CDC H1N1 basics.
- Stay calm ... H1N1 is no more threatening than regular seasonal flu. Hospitalizations and deaths from H1N1 are at present, statistically lower than the average for seasonal flu. The virus has not dramatically mutated in the Southern Hemisphere where flu season is now winding down. However, more people are susceptible to H1N1.
- Virus tougher on ... The virus is more of a threat to certain groups – children under 2, pregnant women, people with health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Teens and young adults are also more vulnerable to H1N1.
- Wash your hands frequently ... Like seasonal flu, H1N1 spreads through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, tissues, and dispose of them immediately after using.
- Vaccinate children … Groups to be first in line for H1N1 shots, especially if vaccine supplies are limited – people 6 months to 24 years old, pregnant women, health care workers, parents and caregivers of infants and people with high-risk medical conditions previously noted.
- Get flu shots early ... H1N1 shots are still in testing phase. If you are in one of the priority groups, get your shot as early as possible when the vaccine is available.
- Immunity takes time ... If you get your shot in early October, immunity will take until approximately Thanksgiving. It is likely to take two shots, given three weeks apart, to provide protection. It takes a week or two after the last shot for the vaccine to take full effect. The regular seasonal flu shot will be widely available in September. People over 50 should be among the first to get the regular flu shot.
- Vaccine testing continues ... The federal government has begun studies in eight cities across the country to assess H1N1 vaccines effectiveness and calculate the best dose. Vaccine makers are doing tests as well.
- Surrounded by H1N1 ... If an outbreak of H1N1 occurs in your area before vaccination, be extra cautious. Stay away from public gathering places. Try to keep your distance from people in general. Wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Keep a supply of antiseptic towels available for daily use. Dispose of antiseptic towels or tissues immediately after use.
- What to do if you become sick ... If you have other health problems, are pregnant, and develop flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. If you develop breathing problems (rapid breathing for kids), pain in your chest, constant vomiting or a fever that keeps rising, go to an emergency room. Most people should just stay home and rest. Get a "Flu Buddy." Partner with a friend who can help take care of you if you become ill. Take care of yourself -- eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Cough into your elbow or shoulder. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. Fluids and pain relievers can help with aches and fever. Always check with your doctor before giving children any medicines. Adult cold and flu remedies are not for children.
- No H1N1 from ... H1N1 is not spread by handling meat, whether raw or cooked.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333
Flu vaccines for the common, seasonal flu will be available soon. The Student Health Service will begin offering this flu shot on September 15 for $23. A vaccine for the H1N1 virus is currently in clinical trials and has not been approved. Supply for the vaccine is likely to be limited, and it is unclear when it will be available. For most healthy people, H1N1 has not been any worse than the seasonal flu. However, everyone is encouraged to be careful. With just some simple added precautions, influenza is preventable. Please call BGSU Student Health Service at 419-372-2271 if you have any further questions – Stay well.
Important Dates :
- September 10: Student Affairs Back to School Coffee, 8am, BTSU
- September 25: Recreation and Wellness Golf Outing, 12:30pm, Forrest Creason Golf Course
- September 28-October 3: BGSU Homecoming Week
- October 1: Fall EXPO, 10am-3pm, Perry Field House
- October 3: Football versus Ohio, 4pm
- October 12-13: Fall Break
- October 14: Latino Issues Conference
- October 23-25: Family Weekend
- October 24: Football versus Central Michigan, 12pm
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