Swine Flu? Some things to know

Girl with the fluThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the United States. There have been confirmed cases in most states, including Michigan, and more are anticipated in the coming days and weeks. The CDC is trying to reduce the spread and severity of illness by providing updated information and interim guidelines for various entities, including colleges and universities.

So, what can the Northern Michigan University campus do today regarding swine flu? Here are some recommendations from the CDC:

  • Signs of any type of influenza include fever, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, dry cough and sometimes nausea and vomiting.  If you are sick with these symptoms, stay home from school or work. 
  • In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:  difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain of pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze.
  • Dispose of tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently. Those who are sick should wash their hands especially after coughing and sneezing.
  • Alcohol-based hand gels are also effective.  They can be used when there is not easy access to soap and water.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Be proactive, but don’t panic when hearing about the spread of any type of flu. Stay informed. 
  • If you are scheduled to travel, watch Web sites that post travel advisories and restrictions for the latest information.

For more information on swine influenza and the public health emergency declaration in the U.S., please go to http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu, http://www.who.int/en, http://www.michigan.gov.