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H1N1 Flu Update
A message from Chancellor William Nunez:
As you know, an Influenza Pandemic of H1N1 Swine Flu is predicted for this forthcoming season, but at this time, we do not anticipate that the flu will cause any interruption in class schedules, LSU Eunice events, or other services provided by the university. In this regard, while the flu, in its current virus form, is not a cause for panic or fear, it is certainly a reminder to us all that we should take precautions to try to stay healthy. Therefore, as we all begin this Fall semester, I want to advise everyone that personal responsibility is the first line of defense against the virus, along with the good practice of "hand, cough, and sneeze hygiene." Classroom and work-place exposure to the flu is only significant, if one has had close, face-to-face contact with the ill person in the 24 hours before they developed flu-like symptoms. Another, but lesser mode of transmission may occur when a person touches something with the flu virus on it and then touches his/her own mouth or nose. (NB. The influenza virus has been shown to survive from two to up to eight hours on environmental surfaces). Therefore, anyone who is well, but has a roommate or family member at home diagnosed with the flu, can attend class or work as usual, but should practice, and encourage others to practice, good "flu hygiene;" and, should also contact their health care provider for advice concerning their possible use of preventative, antiviral medication.
In summary, therefore, as we prepare for the beginning of a new academic year, I want to remind everyone to take precautions against all types of flu and upper respiratory viruses by following the CDC's guidelines:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. The use of alcohol-based hand cleaners is also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses and other infectious agents are spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If diagnosed with any type of flu, stay home from work or school, if possible, and limit contact with others. NB. It is recommended by medical personnel that individuals, who contract Influenza A and/or H1N1, stay at home after their symptoms begun, and that they not return until they have been free of symptoms for about 24 hours.
Future information about the availability of limited, campus health services for students, as well as the availability of vaccination opportunities for those of us, for whom the flu vaccine is recommended, will be communicated, in the future, by the Student Affairs Office.
For additional information on the flu, please visit www.pandemicflu.gov.
I wish everyone a safe and healthy semester.
Dr. Bill Nunez, Chancellor
A Student's Guide
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs that doesn't normally impact humans. However, it is contagious and is currently spreading from human to human. This typically occurs the same way as seasonal flu: by coming in contact with infected people who are coughing or sneezing.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include:
• Sore throat
• Body aches
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
Take this condition seriously, as swine flu varies from mild to severe. If you feel sick, see a doctor. You may need to limit your contact with others so you don't infect them. And avoid spreading germs by:
• Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and then throwing that tissue out!)
• Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing, or using alcohol-based hand cleaners
Emergency Warning Signs
Seek emergency medical care if you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs:
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
• Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Difficulty breathing in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness confusion
• Severe or persistent vomiting
If you suspect you may have symptoms like the ones described in this release please see a healthcare provider or if convenient, please see our campus nurse, Debra Vidrine in the health clinic, Tuesdays, around noon in Room 113 of the Union.