Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thus far this term we have had no cases of the H1N1 virus here at Westminster, nor have there been any cases in the community. Nonetheless, we continue to see news of outbreaks on college campuses. We are working hard to be prepared in case there is an outbreak here.
Students with suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 virus are required to either go home for recovery and or be isolated on campus. We have only 15 beds on campus that we can use to isolate students. For that reason we are requesting, and may require, that students who become ill with the virus and who live within 150 miles of Westminster go home to recover for at least 5 days and be fever-free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol, Advil, or similar products) before returning to Westminster.
We would like you to forward this message to your family, so that if you need to go home, they will be prepared to come and get you. We do not want ill students attempting to drive home. We will also post this information on the College's website.
Students experiencing a fever of 100 degrees F or more (37.8 C) with flu-like symptoms such as body aches, head ache, sore throat, cough, chills, and fatigue should contact the Student Health Center at 724-946-7927 or come in to see the staff. Health Center staff will be administering flu tests to students who have a fever and flu symptoms. Students who test positive for influenza will then be tested for the H1N1 virus. If you choose to go home with flu symptoms without being checked at the Student Health Center, please notify your Residence Director.
We hope that all of our students will remain free of the H1N1 virus. We want to remind you to take the following precautions to help you do that:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 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.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Clean shared surfaces like exercise equipment, keyboards, desks and telephones with a household cleaner before and after use.
Judith Duda, RN-C
Director, Student Health Center