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What college students need to know
Red Cross Ready

Be Informed (find out about
Have a Plan (where to go)
Make a Kit (what to do if you
 must leave school or your
What is this “Flu”? What do I call it?
 The first thing we heard was “swine” flu
 It’s really called influenza A(H1N1)
 But many people will know what you mean when you
  say H1N1 or swine flu
 It’s different from seasonal flu
Is it contagious? How does it spread?
 Yes, it is contagious!
 It spreads the way other flu strains spread, airborne-
  person to person:
 through coughs and sneezes
 touching objects that have respiratory droplets on
  them and then touching a mucous membrane without
  washing your hands. For example: someone with
  H1N1 sneezes on a keyboard, you use it, and then
  rub your eyes without washing your hands, you could
  get H1N1
 How long can a virus survive on a surface, like a sink
  or keyboard? 2-8 hours
Did this come from a pig? Can I eat
 The first studies showed that many of the genes in
  the H1N1 virus were similar to influenza strains
  affecting pigs
 But later, lab tests showed that the viruses are
  actually quite different
 So you can still eat pork. Also, if bio class requires
  dissecting pigs, don’t worry about getting H1N1 from
  the specimen.
Is this worse than “bird flu”?
 Depends on how you think of it.
 More than half of people who caught current
  strain of “bird flu” (H5N1 type) died, but
  person-to-person transmission is rare.
  Almost everyone who died touched birds.
 H1N1 spreads person-to-person, not as high
  a death rate
Seasonal Flu Shots/H1N1 Shots
 Your school is probably suggesting them
 There are great materials from the CDC if you’re
  worried about side effects
 Please speak with your student health center for
  individual questions about whether or not a flu shot is
  a good idea. Seasonal and H1N1 are different shots
 Costs are variable-check out possible student
  discounts through your university health service
 H1N1 shots are available now for high-priority
  populations, more should become available as
  supplies get larger.
 If you get the flu, you may get an anti-
  viral drug
 The “shelf names” of the common ones
  are Tamiflu, Relenza, Symmetrel,
 When would I take these? Preferably
  within 2 days after getting sick
To prevent H1N1
(Stay Informed!)
 Wash your hands often. Please carry some hand
    sanitizer, or use the ones at school. Be sure to
    remember to wash up if you cough or sneeze
   Try to get rest, exercise, and plenty of water and
    healthy food. This is hard in college, but giving it a
    try is well worth it
   If you must cough or sneeze, covering with your
    elbow or upper sleeve is MUCH better than sneezing
    into your hands. And throw out tissues as fast as
   Try to keep eye, nose, and mouth touching to a bare
   If you do get sick, please stay away from school or
    work (or parties, for that matter)
      What are some symptoms? (Stay
   Fever
   Cough
   Sore throat
   Runny/stuffy nose
   Fatigue
   Headache
   Chills
   Body ache
   About 25% of people with H1N1 will have vomiting as a symptom
   About 25% of people with H1N1 will have diarrhea as a symptom
   Yup, some other infections have the same symptoms, so you may
    be sure you have H1N1, but your lab tests show something else!
    Please follow up with you nurse/doctor about this and take care of
   When should I go to the hospital?
          (Stay Informed!)
 If you:
 Continually throw up, or throw up
 Are confused or dizzy
 Have trouble breathing
 Pain or pressure in your chest or
 If your flu seems to go away and comes
  back quickly and with worse symptoms
When can I go back to normal
 After seven days or 24 hours after
  you stop having symptoms,
  whichever is longer
 You will continue to hear: please
  stay home if you are sick. Please
  take this seriously
So you’re a student

 Yup, it’s different. You don’t have sick pay and
    classes may be based on participation and
   You may be tempted to just power through, but …
   You could get sicker, and have to go to the hospital,
    then you’d really miss some school
   You may not be allowed, depending on school policy
   Your friends could become sick
  I’m a sick student! What can I do?
            (Make a Plan!)
 Please tell your profs and TAs.
 Get some medical help. Student Health
  Services/Wellness Promotion is there for exactly that
 Tell your friends: they may be sick too, or they may
  be able to help you
 Temporary “house swapping” is possible with sick
 If you’re a dorm/Greek house dweller, please let your
  hall director/RA/housemom know
Go home? (or not)

 Make a Plan!
 This is a tricky decision! Some things to
 Do you have to fly? If so, please take into
  consideration the safety of other passengers
  and how long you’ll be contagious
 What is your house like? Will you be able to
  stay in touch with people at school?
I’m staying!
 Self-quarantine is possible in a single dorm or
  single bedroom in a house or apartment. If
  you share bathrooms off campus, please
  clean them often
 Double rooms (or more)-please listen to the
  concerns of your roommate(s)
 If you eat on campus, bringing disposable
  plates and silverware is good, if your school
  isn’t already doing that. It’s helps the kitchen
  workers stay healthy.
We’re quarantined!
 It stinks, but…..
 Your profs will know and not be able to
  penalize your grades
 Use a quarantine as an opportunity to catch
  up on sleep
 Stay connected to the outside world through
  computers, phones, stereos, and iPods
Backup plans!
 Very important!
 You may find yourself unable (or not allowed)
  to walk onto an airplane, so a backup plan for
  a ride or staying at school is necessary
 You may have chosen to stay, but are sent
  home by campus rules
 Prepare to swap buildings or halls, too. The
  school may make a sick dorm and a well
I have to change buildings. What do I
take? (Your Kit!)
 a) Phone
 b) Warm clothes/cool clothes (in case your temperature is going
    up and down)
   c) Insurance card
   d) School ID and Government ID (passport, driver’s license,
    student visa, green card)
   e) Any prescriptions you already have
   f) Blanket
   g) Toiletries
   h) School calendar/planner-even if you’re too sick to do work,
    you can at least keep track of the date
   i) Mask/latex gloves
   j) Copy of the school’s policy on leaving and returning to
    dorms/classes after contagious illness (if they have one)
   k) Thermometer
I missed a ton of school. I’m afraid
I’ll fail.
 Please talk to your profs, they may be dealing with
  other sick students and could help all of you in a
 Prioritize classes that are required to graduate, or
  courses that must be taken in sequence.
 See if you can take anything pass/fail
 If you find yourself in deep trouble over academics, it
  may be worth it to call the division of student affairs
If you get an incomplete in a class
 The most important thing to find out is when the
  deadline is for finishing
 Some schools will turn that “I” into an “F” after a
  certain number of weeks, months, or semesters
 If the class is not required to graduate, you may
  consider trying to just drop it, if you got so far behind
  that you doubt your ability to finish
Can I go to Mexico for Spring Break?
Didn’t this all start there?
 The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and
  Prevention) puts out travel advisories for
  every country. There may not be a “ban” to a
  certain country, but it’s good to look at the
  information and decide for yourself.
The Three Best Things to Know

Get a Kit (to stay, to go
 home, to stay organized,
 to be prepared)
Make a Plan
Stay informed
More Info
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Hotline at: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
    Questions can be e-mailed to
American Red Cross
U.S. Government H1N1, avian, and pandemic flu
World Health Organization
Georgia Department of Community Health
 American Red Cross presentation ARC
  H1HN1 presentation 20090831

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