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By Abby Wilson ’10
This week the Health Center received its first 200 doses of the H1N1 vaccine, which will be available only to students. Flu shot clinics are scheduled from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Health Center; no appointment is necessary. Pregnant students, health care workers, or those with chronic medical conditions can receive the vaccination, according to CDC guidelines.
Bradley expects to receive 6,000 H1N1 doses in the weeks ahead, and eventually those will be available to faculty and staff. The Health Center has begun to see an increase in influenza-like illness on campus.
With colleges across the nation facing cases of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus on their campuses, Bradley is taking the necessary precautions to prevent a widespread outbreak of the disease. “It appears inevitable that we will be challenged with this virus, and I ask everyone’s assistance to prepare and focus on prevention,” wrote President Joanne Glasser in a letter to the campus community in September. Since then, several cases of Type A flu have been confirmed on campus.
Seasonal flu vaccinations were available for students, faculty and staff on campus in September and again in November. Additional seasonal flu vaccines should be available soon.
Glasser urged the campus community to practice the “three C’s” — Clean, Cover, and Contain — to limit the spread of the disease. “Wellness stations” with hand sanitizers have been set up in every building on campus. Disinfectant wipes have been placed in high-traffic areas, such as computer labs, restrooms, food service areas, and around exercise equipment. Masks, gloves and gowns are available to students, faculty and staff, as well.
Glasser also encouraged students and faculty to sleep well, eat breakfast, drink fluids, manage stress, avoid close contact with people who are ill, and keep a distance from others if they get sick. The University has also authorized a relaxed attendance policy, allowing ill students to inform the instructor by phone or e-mail rather than obtaining an absence pass from the Health Center. Faculty will work with students to provide make-up work, allowing students to complete coursework in a timely manner.
Students suffering from the flu and living off-campus have been asked to remain in their apartments, and students whose permanent residences are a reasonable distance away have been asked to return home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Students who cannot return home will be isolated on the third floor of Wendle Hall.
Individuals under 25 have the highest risk of contracting the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk for complications increases for people with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and kidney disease, as well as for pregnant women. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea.
If you feel ill, consult your physician. Visit the Health Center Web site for more information.