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Simple Measures Can Reduce the Spread of H1N1

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As the new academic year begins, Dartmouth is monitoring the world-wide situation with the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus and making plans to minimize the impact that an outbreak would have on the campus. The College is encouraging faculty, staff, and students to support this effort by taking measures to prevent the spread of illness.

Flu Season Resources

Dr. John Turco answers questions about H1N1 (video): www.dartmouth.edu/~vox/goto/168

H1N1 Updates from the College: www.dartmouth.edu/~prepare/swineflu

Seasonal flu shot clinics at Dick’s House: Free, for Dartmouth employees and students. Register at www.dartmouth.edu/~vox/goto/169

Seasonal flu shot clinics at DHMC: Free, open to the public. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. on October 18 and 25, and November 1 and 14 • call 653-3731 or visit www.dartmouth.edu/~vox/goto/170

“The predictions from the Centers for Disease Control and the New Hampshire Department of Health are that we will see a significant number of influenza-like illnesses on our campus this fall and winter,” says Dr. John Turco, director of Dartmouth College Health Services. “Although H1N1 usually produces relatively mild disease, if enough people become ill it can be disruptive for a campus. In addition, on rare occasions the new H1N1 strain of influenza can cause more serious illness in susceptible individuals.”

Turco stresses that, “Practicing personal hygiene is critically important to minimize a large outbreak of illness on campus.” The College is recommending that all members of the community take the following prevention measures:

• Wash hands frequently with soap and hot water.

• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, such as Purell, when a sink is not available.

• Cough or sneeze into a tissue.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Avoid contact with those who are sick.

“We are also asking those who have an influenza-like illness—with symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat, and body aches—to help protect the community and voluntarily isolate themselves,” adds Turco. “Staying away from public areas until you are no longer symptomatic will really help to minimize an outbreak.”

Faculty and staff with flu-like symptoms should follow the regular procedures for taking time off due to illness, and should not return to the workplace until 24 hours after any fever has passed.

The Dartmouth College Health Service is covering the campus with educational posters about ways to prevent the spread of illness. These posters are also available in downloadable form at www.dartmouth.edu/~health/services/fluinfo. Employees can print out the posters to use as workplace reminders.

The College is also encouraging employees and students to get vaccinated for regular seasonal flu. Sign up for a free seasonal flu vaccine at Dick’s House at www.dartmouth.edu/~health/services/fluinfo. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is also offering free, public seasonal flu shot clinics from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 18 and 25, and November 1 and 14. Call 653-3731 or visit www.dartmouth.edu/~vox/goto/170.

Dartmouth expects to have the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine available in October or November, when it will be distributed by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. This vaccine will consist of one additional shot and should be given in addition to—not instead of—the seasonal flu vaccine. Further information about free vaccination clinics on campus for students, faculty, and staff will be shared as it becomes available.

Last Updated: 1/7/10