H1N1 updates and information
Update from the Sheboygan County Health Department - October 9, 2009
Key points that our local health department wishes to share with healthcare providers at this time:
- School-located and community-based H1N1 vaccine clinics are being planned by the Division of Public Health in conjunction with area School Administrators and Sheboygan County Emergency Management to provide vaccine to as many school-aged children and health care workers as efficiently, safely and promptly as possible.
- Clinics will be scheduled based on staffing and vaccine availability. Information shared by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicates tentative delivery of H1N1 injectable vaccine to local health departments in mid to late October.
- Clinics will first be arranged for Healthcare Workers employed by smaller organizations without access to vaccine and EMS staff from around the County.
- The goal of school-located vaccine clinics is to reduce the burden on medical providers throughout the county by targeting the well school-aged child.
- The remaining individuals in the targeted priority groups for H1N1 vaccine: caretakers and household contacts of children under 6 months, pregnant women, children not yet school age or those who completed school under the age of 24 years, and people 25 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions will be referred to their medical home.
- The Division of Public health estimates 52,000 Sheboygan County residents fit in one or more of the priority groups and anticipates more community-based clinics may be necessary if public demand is high or if providers are inundated by ill clients.
- Your support of this endeavor would be greatly appreciated. If you would be willing to volunteer your time at any of the area school located clinics please refer to our website http://www.co.sheboygan.wi.us/#Volunteer or call (920) 459-3034.
We are prepared!
H1N1 is a communicable disease that can spread quickly, therefore Lakeland College has implemented a general H1N1 Communicable Disease Plan, in accordance with the CDC and our local health department. Lakeland College is committed to providing up-to-date information on H1N1 and how it impacts us here at the College as well as in our homes in the general community. The Student Life Office and the Health Center, are working closely with the Sheboygan County Health Department and are in constant communication with them.
The best thing everyone can do right now is to monitor events as they develop, implement good hand-washing techniques (frequently and thoroughly with warm soapy water), implement effective cough etiquette and know where to go for accurate, timely information. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
The following information has been taken from information released by the CDC on August 24, 2009, to assist institutions of Higher Education prepare for the H1N1 flu season.
What is "seasonal flu?"
The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that is caused by influenza virus. The flu can spread from person to person. Most people with flu are sick for about a week, but then begin to feel better. However, some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and death could occur.
What is H1N1?
H1N1 flu is a new and very different influenza virus that is spreading worldwide among people. This new virus was called the "swine flu" at first because it has pieces of flu viruses found in pigs in the past. However, the H1N1 virus has not been detected in U.S. pigs. The H1N1 virus appears to be spreading fast in younger people, specifically 10 - 24 year olds. The severity of the disease varies from very mild symptoms to severe illness that could result in death.
Why should institutions of higher education be concerned about the flu?
Students, faculty, and staff can get sick with flu, and institutions may act as a "point of spread." Students, faculty, and staff can easily spread flu to others in their institutions as well as in the larger community. To date, the highest number of cases of 2009 H1N1 flu have been confirmed among people 5-24 years old. They are also at risk of getting seasonal influenza.
What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1?
Signs of flu include having two or more of the following symptoms:
- Fever and shaking chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Diarrhea (usually more common in children)
- Vomiting (usually more common in children)
What steps can students, faculty and staff take to stay healthy?
- Practice good hand washing hygiene. Wash hands with soap and warm water, especially if coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol- based (60% alcohol) cleaners, when necessary.
- Practice good respiratory etiquette. Cover mouth and nose with a tissue. If a tissue isn't available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
- If you are sick, stay home and self isolate.
- Encourage all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu and the H1N1 when the vaccination becomes available. It is recommended that students, faculty and staff most "at risk" for complications, including pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, neuromuscular disorders, heart disease, and immunosuppressant due to chemotherapy or cancer, just to name a few), get the H1N1 vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine should become available in mid to late October.
- If you experience sudden onset of fever, cough and/or sore throat, please contact the Health Center. If the nurse or your health care provider has advised you that you might have H1N1 or seasonal flu and has recommended that you stay home, please do so until 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of anti-fever medication. Contact the Lakeland College Health Center at 565-1523 to report that you suspect you have the flu. Information about suspected cases will be gathered to help identify clusters of the illness and to help us make educated, informed decisions regarding the degree of infection in the Lakeland College community.
- Visit the Lakeland College web site for regular updates.
- Visit the CDC web site for additional updates.
- Watch your Lakeland College e-mail and watch for official updates from the administration regarding the flu.
Tips for preventing the flu:
- Wash hands vigorously with warm soapy water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer before eating or drinking and after coughing or sneezing.
- If you are ill with a fever or cough, please stay home and distance yourself by at least 6 feet and wear a mask when in the presence of others.
- You may return to normal activities 24 hours after the fever has ended (if anti-fever medication has not been used).
- You are a strong link in the reduction of the flu; encourage those around you to follow these simple instructions.
Vaccines for the seasonal flu:
We will have a vaccine clinic on campus for all students, faculty and staff on Friday, October 16, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., in the Campus Center, for a nominal fee. Once again, it is very important to receive this vaccine for the seasonal flu if you have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, kidney or liver disease, or any other medical conditions. The "seasonal flu" vaccine will not protect you against the H1N1 virus. Check with you physician or the campus nurse for medical advice.
Vaccines for the H1N1 flu:
We are uncertain as to the availability of the H1N1 vaccine, as a timeline has not been established yet. We have been told by the local health department that there will be a Phase I - when the vaccine will become available on a limited basis for "at risk" people sometime in mid-October. Phase II - should be several weeks later for everyone else. We have made application to receive this vaccine for all students under the age of 24 years, who are in the "at risk" category. The vaccine will be released in limited amounts, as it becomes available. We will attempt to obtain the vaccine during the Phase II, for the rest of the college community. Faculty and staff may also see their local health care provider or may contact the Sheboygan County Health Department to obtain this vaccine.
What to do if you are ill?
- Stay home and rest as much as possible
- Drink 8 - 10 glasses of water, juice, Jell-o, or clear soups
- Take non-aspirin fever-reducers (Tylenol, acetaminophen)
- Use a face mask if with others (available at the Health Center)
- If you meet the criteria above and have had contact with a confirmed case of H1N1, contact the Health Center
- Seek medical attention soon if you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, difficulty breathing; or if symptoms last for more than 5 days with no improvement.
As a parent of a student who attends Lakeland College, should I bring them home?
If possible, residential students with flu-like illness whose families live relatively close to the campus should go home to self-isolate. They should return home in a way that limits contact with others as much as possible. They should stay away from other people until at least 24 hours after they 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). If flu severity increases, students at higher risk for flu complications including certain chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma, or those who are pregnant may consider staying home while flu transmission is high in the Lakeland College community. Currently, the CDC is not recommending removing healthy students from their institutions.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is when sick people stay home and away from other people until they no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). During the period of self-isolation, sick people should limit contact with others and try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people. If close contact cannot be avoided, sick people should wear a surgical mask when they are around other people.
What will Lakeland College do?
- We will offer seasonal flu vaccinations on Friday, October 16, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., in the Campus Center for a nominal fee.
- We will offer H1N1 vaccine clinics for students age 24 and younger, when the vaccine becomes available to us, during Phase I, as these students are in the "high risk" category.
- We will offer H1N1 vaccine to the rest of the college community during Phase II, or as it becomes available.
- We will activate the Lakeland College Crisis Response Team, should there be a need to do so.
- We will supply additional disinfectant wipes and spray in classrooms, computer labs, offices and many other heavily used public areas. We ask students and faculty to use them often.
- We will supply additional disinfectant spray for individual use in all of the residence halls.
- We will help educate the community by our constant updates and will post signs to include hand- washing, covering coughs and the use of hand sanitizers across the campus.
Important and helpful links to keep you informed:
Who to contact for more information:
General questions about student concerns:
Dean of Students
Vice President for Student Development
Nurse Sherry Carstens
Director of the Health Center
Questions about Residence Halls:
Director of Residence Life
Questions about classes:
Dr. Meg Albrinck
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
(Students may also contact their individual faculty members or their academic advisor with questions or concerns.)
Questions about employee benefits and personnel policies:
Mr. Peter Platten
Director of Human Relations