Dean Campbell '90 Urges Students to Maintain Good Health in Face of H1N1 Virus

Acting Dean Garikai Campbell '90 Urges Students to
Maintain Good Health in Face of H1N1 Virus


9/11/2009

In a message to students this week, Acting Dean of Students Garikai Campbell '90 recommended the following regarding the H1N1 virus:

Given the spread of the H1N1 virus, particularly the cases that have appeared on college campuses over the past couple of weeks, it is important that you remain informed and minimize the opportunity for infection. We have not had cases on campus yet. But as you work hard to balance your academic work, extracurricular activities, and well-being, I encourage you to follow these key tips to help maintain your good health:

I. Preventive Care

  • *Wash your hands*: Washing hands at least 3 times a day is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the risk of getting sick. We can see as much as a 50% reduction in the spread of the virus if the entire community simply follows this one rule. Please wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
  • *Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing*: Preferably, you should use a tissue, but if you don't have a tissue, use your upper sleeve, not your hands. Put all used tissues directly into the wastebasket. Clean your hands afterward.
  • *Get plenty of rest, eat well, exercise, and drink fluids*: Sleep and diet are huge contributors to keeping your immune system functioning well, as is staying hydrated. Do all that you can to build your immune system so it can fend off illness.
  • *Prepare a Flu Kit*:  As recommended by the American College Health Association, this includes a thermometer and supplies of Tylenol or Advil, tissues, bottled water, hand sanitizer, and cough suppressant.
  • *Arrange to have a "Flu Buddy"*: Especially if you live in a single, designate a friend who can deliver medicine, meals, or other supplies you may need if it is recommended that you stay in your room.

II. Vaccines   

  • *Seasonal Flu Vaccine*: The seasonal flu vaccine will be made available to students in late September/early October, in waves. The first group that we will invite to be vaccinated are those who are in what the CDC determines to be high risk categories-- students with asthma, cardiac problems, on long-term aspirin therapy, have an immune disorder of any kinds, have diabetes, have a neuromuscular disease, or are pregnant. If you are in one of these categories, we encourage you to contact the Health Center when the first round of seasonal flu vaccines are made available.
  • Note: while the seasonal flu vaccine does not appear to offer any direct protection against the H1N1 flu, it is important to realize that the healthier you are, the more able you will be to fight off any virus.
  • *H1N1 Vaccine*: Like the seasonal flu vaccine, the H1N1 vaccine will be available first to students at risk and then to others as soon as possible. We will say more about this vaccine once we get more information from the appropriate governmental agencies.

III. What to do once you feel sick

  • *Call the Health Center: x8058*: The Health Center will first assess your condition over the phone and determine the appropriate course of action. Please call as soon as you feel ill.
  • *Stay home, out of class and public spaces*: Most of you will want desperately to continue working, push through the sickness, and keep going to class. *DON'T.* CALL THE HEALTH CENTER and follow their instructions. If they say to stay in your room, stay out of class, and get rest. PLEASE DO THAT!

You can find more information and advice at:

Worth Health Center - http://www.swarthmore.edu/health.xml

CDC -  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

My hope is that by exercising appropriate caution and care, we can work together to minimize the  possibility  of getting H1N1 individually, as well as its impact on campus and the community.