As you may know, flu can be spread easily from person to person. Several colleges in the state of Kansas are already experiencing students who are infected with the H1N1 Flu (also known as Swine Flu). Therefore, we are taking steps to prevent the spread of flu at Sterling College for as long as possible, but, we need your help to accomplish this.
We are working closely with the Rice County Health Department to monitor flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning our institution. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available to us.
For now, we are doing everything we can to keep our institution operating as usual. Here are a few things you can do to help:
1) Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective and they are located all across campus.
2) Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
3) Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
4) Inform your RA, RD, Nurse Connie, or your instructor if you are not feeling well. This strain of flu spreads rapidly and the quicker we are aware of it, the better we can contain it.
5) Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don't go to class or work.
6) Talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. Sterling College will be providing seasonal flu vaccines soon. Also if you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.
For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit http://www.flu.gov/, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). We will notify you by e-mail of any additional changes to our institution's strategy to prevent the spread of flu on our campus.