Dear Miami Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents,
As you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Student Health Service wants to provide some reminders about reducing your risk of H1N1 illness and staying healthy during this busy time of the year.
As people travel for the holidays, they may be exposed to people who are contagious, but do not yet have symptoms of the H1N1 flu. If you are sick, you are strongly encouraged to not travel and spread the flu to others.
According to the CDC, flu activity is widespread in 46 states (exceptions are Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska and Texas). On campus, we had an increase in numbers of influenza-like illness after fall break, but numbers have been in the single digits since Nov. 12. If you are healthy, continue to practice good prevention techniques:
• Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective. A video reminder is here.
• Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
• Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever such as when a person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance or is sweating or shivering. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
General prevention measures such as eating well, managing your stress, and getting enough sleep are all important during this busy time of the year. If you become sick with flu-like illness:
• The flu may last up to 7 days. Don’t go to class or work if you’re ill. Ask a friend to bring meals to your room.
Self-isolate in your room until 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
• It is important for students who have temperatures of at least 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.8 degrees Celsius with a cough and/or sore throat to call the Student Health Service for an appointment (529-3000) to see a clinician. Students who have flu symptoms but also have chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, or heart problems also should call for an appointment.
Miami has provided about 2,400 doses of H1N1 FluMist vaccine and 500 doses of seasonal flu vaccine to students.
If you are a healthy student and have not yet received the H1N1 FluMist vaccine, please do so. By getting vaccinated you can protect yourself and your friends who are waiting for the H1N1 flu shot to arrive on campus.
The Student Health Service has FluMist available by appointment Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week, call 513.529.3000 to make your appointment. You may also come to the open H1N1 FluMist clinics, weekly from 3–5 p.m.at the Health Services Center. These are walk-in clinics at the Urgent Care entrance; please bring your student ID when you come.
The staff at the Student Health Service and your friends who cannot get the FluMist will thank you. A musical reminder is here.
While we do not yet have the H1N1 flu shot, we anticipate that we will receive the vaccine within the next several weeks. Please continue to monitor the SHS Web site, www.muohio.edu/health, myMiami announcements or the e-Report for information about when we will hold flu shot clinics.
If you are a student with a chronic medical condition, you may send me an email asking to be notified when the vaccine becomes available.
As you all know, this H1N1 virus is new and the CDC continues to gather information about the virus and the way it behaves. At the Student Health Service we follow CDC guidelines to ensure that our practice is consistent with the guidelines and the new information that is available. If you have questions about the virus or any aspect of the H1N1 event on campus, please contact me.
The staff at the Student Health Service wishes you all a safe and healthy Thanksgiving season.
Assistant Vice President, student health and wellness