As I am sure you all have seen in the news, H1N1 influenza (also called swine flu) has made its way around the world and to our campus. This is NOT a cause for alarm, but does call for increased awareness.
Further information on pandemic flu and the MHC pandemic flu plan is at this link. These guidelines are currently being followed in an effort to curb the spread of this contagious illness.
The H1N1 vaccine will be distributed through the Madison Co. Health Dept. as it is received from the NCDHHS (NC Dept. of Health and Human Services). Please watch your daily emails from the Dean of Students for announcements of when these vaccination clinics are to be held. We will update you as information becomes available.
Below are some easy to follow, highly effective guidelines that everyone should adhere to.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water when possible. To effectively kill germs use warm running water and rub hands together vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Consider placing hand sanitizer on your desk for student’s to use before they use shared items such as pens, phones, and computers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Do NOT share personal items (i.e. Cigarettes, gum, tooth brushes, drinks, eating utensils,)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available).
- Consider changing your clothes and showering after work and before you come in close contact with family members at home.
Stay at home if you are sick:
- If you have a fever, sore throat and/or cough, please stay at home and away from any public gatherings (i.e. work, the pharmacy, the grocery store, ball games, etc.)
- If persons with influenza like illness must leave their home or dorm room (for example, to seek medical care or other necessities) they should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. A surgical loose-fitting mask can be helpful
- Call your employers and/or professors ASAP to notify them of your illness.
Routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Special cleaning with bleach and other non-detergent-based cleaners is not necessary.