Thursday, June 18, 2009

Barnard Important Information about Swine Flu (H1N1 Flu)

To Students in Barnard Summer Housing:

It has been a month and a half since health officials first became aware of the swine flu (H1N1) outbreak. While the cases in New York City have been relatively mild, the numbers continue to increase and we want to take a moment to caution against complacency. It’s easy to get tired of the updates and the warnings, but as a community, we must stay alert in order to stay healthy.

Here’s what we urge you to do. As always, please practice the kind of good personal hygiene that will prevent the spread of flu, including covering your cough, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently. Hand sanitizer dispensers are now available all across campus. If you should become ill with flu-like symptoms - fever of 100.4 or higher, with cough or sore throat - please stay in and do not go to work or classes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you seek medical advice from your physician and stay away from others for 7 days after onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.

In addition, it has become clear that all people who have asthma, diabetes, emphysema, or other chronic illnesses, are pregnant, or are below 2 or above 65 years of age, are at an increased risk of severe illness or complications from swine flu. The NYC Department of Health recommends that individuals with underlying health conditions take even greater precautions and seek treatment with antiviral medication immediately if flu-like symptoms develop. Also, if you have had close contact with someone who has flu-like illness (for example, a member of your household or a suitemate), please consult with your health care provider right away about taking antiviral medicine prophylactically, to reduce the chances of becoming ill.

Finally, in order to effectively monitor our community’s situation, we ask that you inform Public Safety at x4-3362 immediately if you develop flu-like symptoms. You should also contact Public Safety in the event that you need urgent medical assistance.

For more information and updates, visit:

We are working hard to keep the Barnard community informed and safe. Thanks for helping us all stay healthy.