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Whitworth's Preparation for H1N1 and Seasonal Flu
Whitworth personnel have been meeting regularly with Spokane Regional Health District staff to prepare for and coordinate our response to the upcoming flu season – including potential cases of both H1N1 and seasonal flu.
We are recommending to students and others on campus to follow CDC guidelines for prevention of the spread of cold and flu viruses. These guidelines are to:
- Get both the seasonal and H1N1 flu shots. The best time to get flu shots is after Oct. 15 to ensure the vaccine is effective through the flu season. It is not known at this time when or in what quantities the H1N1 flu vaccine will be available in Spokane, but we will offer it to students as soon as it is available to us.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand-sanitizer stations have been placed in all residence halls and other high-traffic areas on the Whitworth campus.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, cough or blow your nose. Quickly throw away used tissues, then wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Regularly clean surfaces in public areas that are touched often, such as light switches, door knobs, faucets and appliance handles. The Whitworth Health Center has wipes available upon request for living and work areas.
- Don't share food, utensils, beverages, towels, lipstick or anything else that might become contaminated with germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. Most germs are spread by your being in close proximity with a sick person who sneezes, coughs or talks.
- Those with flu-like illness should stay away from classes and limit interactions with other people (called "self-isolation"), except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu. They are not to attend class or any public event. Students in self-isolation will be monitored closely by Whitworth Residence Life and Health Center staff, including trained student medics living in each residence hall, to ensure the students' well-being. Click here for more information on self-isolation.
- Wait 24 hours after you recover from a fever (and no longer need fever-reducing medications) to attend classes or to interact with others -- except, of course, to seek medical care.
- Follow your doctor's instructions, including wearing a mask in a medical office if you are asked.
Students should notify the health center if they believe they are sick with flu-like symptoms so they can receive appropriate care and so that the level of infection on campus can be monitored.
All Spokane-area residents are encouraged to consult the Spokane Regional Health District website for the most current and region-specific information regarding H1N1 and seasonal flu. Health district staff will continually monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington State Health Department and other public health resources and will compile relevant information on the health district website.
For more information, please contact the Whitworth Health and Counseling Center at 509.777.3259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.