Medical Staff Monitoring National Flu Cases
Message to Campus
April 29, 2009
As many are aware, a different kind of influenza called the swine flu has been detected in Mexico and in some locations in our country. Rest assured that there is no evidence of any cases of the swine flu at Alma College or the immediate geographic area. Also, there are no Spring Term travel courses headed to Mexico. Nonetheless, we deem it important to keep you informed about this influenza, which has received considerable media attention.
The signs and symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. This virus is contagious; the main mode of transmission is from respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. After exposure, people will begin to experience symptoms within 24 to 48 hours and will continue to be infectious for up to seven or more days.
If you begin to experience flu-like symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. You should increase your fluids and rest. If you develop difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, or severe or persistent vomiting, seek medical attention.
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. However, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people. If you get sick with influenza, it is recommended that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. The typical healthy person will recover with no problems. People who are elderly, infants and immune-compromised are at risk of severe complications, including death.
To learn more about swine flu, please visit the CDC Swine Flu Website at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
The Wilcox Medical Center is involved with the Michigan Alert System. which sends out alerts and recommendations for situations like this. If the situation changes from that described above, we will inform the campus community.
Wilcox Medical Staff
Posted: Thu, April 30th, 2009 at 4:36PM