In light of the anticipated arrival of H1N1 (swine flu), we want to again remind everyone to continue to follow the preventive measures recommended by the CDCand assure you that we work very closely with the Chicopee Health Department and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) officials to stay informed on the latest developments.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to other flu symptoms, and include:
- Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C)
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Extreme tiredness
- Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults
Protect Yourself and OthersThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that this particular strain of swine flu is highly contagious. There is no vaccine available to protect against swine flu, however, the CDC provides the following guidelines to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hand.
- 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.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided (without the use of fever reducing medication), and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
What to Do
Students who develop fever greater than 100ºF (37.8°C) and are experiencing influenza-like symptoms are urged to call the Health Center at 413-265-2288 to determine if they require testing or treatment for their illness during normal business hours. Students should contact the resident advisor on duty after hours. Staff and faculty should contact their healthcare provider for guidance.
Please continue to pray for all of those who have been affected by this illness across the world and the healthcare providers who will help guide us.
Jill Gagne, RN