What is it?
- It is a respiratory (involving nasal, pharynx, and lungs) disease of usually found in pigs caused by the Type A Influenza virus.
- There have been 148 confirmed cases in nine countries. The US has 91 confirmed cases, 1 death. As of April 29, 2009, the World Health Organization raised the influenza alert to Level 5- significant human to human transmission and has encouraged all countries to activate their pandemic flu plan.
- Every year, seasonal influenza kills approximately 35,000 people in the US.
How is it spread?
- It is spread by contact with infected pigs and now it is spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces.
- It is not spread through cooked food.
What is the incubation period/how long does it take to show symptoms?
What is the period that you can be contagious?
- Until the infected person no longer has symptoms at least 7 days or (longer than 7 days in children)
What are the signs of H1N1 infection?
- Fever (100 F) or chills
- Body aches
- Extreme fatigue/tired
- Sore throat
If you have 2 or more of these signs/symptoms then you should call a health care professional either here on campus at the Wellness Center at 301-860-4170 or your doctor at home.
If you have the following symptoms- you should seek emergency medical attention:
For children: fast breathing, difficulty breathing
- Blue coloring of the skin
- decreased ability to drink fluids
- not interacting
For Adults: shortness of breath
- belly/ abdominal pain or chest pain
- persistent vomiting
What are the complications of H1N1?
H1N1 illness can vary in severity from mild to severe. It can worsen underlying medical conditions.
Is there a vaccine available?
- There are no vaccines
- A vaccine may take months to develop, but the medical community is already working on it.
What is the treatment?
- Currently Swine Flu can be treated by taking antiviral medication (pills): Tamiflu or Relenza. These medications have to be started within 48 hours of symptoms for treatment or for prophylaxis if you have been exposed to someone who is infected with Swine Flu. It is only available by prescription from a health care professional.
How does the antiviral treatment work?
- It decreases reproduction of the virus in the body.
What are alternative treatments/ herbal treatments?
- Before antibiotics were invented, herbal products such as Colloidal Silver and Elderberry were reportedly used for treatment of flu symptoms but it is not clear that these alternative treatments would be effective against Swine Flu. It is recommended to speak with your health care professional before trying any alternative treatments.
What do you do if you are sick or become infected?
- Call a medical professional and stay home. Do not go to school or work. This is necessary to decrease the spread of the disease. Monitor your symptoms to make sure you are not getting worse. If you are getting worse-you go to seek medical attention at the nearest hospital.
If I am sick, how can I prevent infecting others?
- Stay at home, cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you sneeze or cough, throw away the tissue and wash your hands immediately.
How can I avoid getting sick?
- Avoid close contact with sick people. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and moth. Wash hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer.
Have the Swine Flu caused deaths before in the past?
- Between 2002 and 2009, there were 12 human cases of infection, no deaths.
- In 1976, there were 200 cases, 1 death.
How should I wash my hands to prevent getting infected?
- Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, use a paper towel to turn off the tap and to open the door when leaving bathroom
- Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
- Wash hands before preparing food and before eating
What are we doing at BSU to help prevent Swine Flu?
- The Pandemic Flu Planning Committee (members of each department and college) has met twice this week to address the emergence of Swine Flu and to discuss how the Swine Flu may affect BSU operations, including instruction. We will continue to meet regularly to address the changing needs on campus.
- Communications- We have established a Swine Flu Website for communication, updates and links to the CDC and local health resources. Encourage sign up for BEES.
- Incident Command System- We are in contact with the PG County Department of Health and the State Health Department (DHMH) for questions or support in managing suspicious cases.
- Surveillance- We have purchased additional medical supplies including Tamiflu, Flu detection kits, gloves and personal protective equipment for health personnel.
- We have requested additional supplies from the State Health Department.
- Prevention and Education Efforts- educational literature- Swine Flu Updates have been distributed in the residence halls and on campus and placed on website.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in highly trafficked areas on campus
- Housekeeping will increase the number of cleaning crews as well as increase the shifts of sanitation of bathrooms, common areas, door handles, railings, computer labs, etc.
- Continuity of Learning- The committee is coordinating continuity of operations plans for each department and college so that instruction will not be interrupted in the event of university closing.
- School System Policy Review-Policies are under review to take into consideration Swine Flu absenteeism for students and employees in the event of university closing. Sign up for direct deposit.
Washing hands is the most important way to decrease the spread of disease!