Dear Members of the Campus Community:
Although the H1N1 (Swine flu) virus appears to have been mild in severity, public health officials expect it to re-emerge as early as late September or early October in the United States. Since individuals between 5 and 25 years of age are more likely to contract the H1N1, the health center anticipates a high number of cases at Kutztown University.
The H1N1 virus is a different strain of influenza, and it is possible to contract both the seasonal and H1N1 flu. The H1N1 vaccine is not currently available, but the University has a scheduled seasonal influenza vaccine program for employees on October 23, 2009, and the seasonal flu shot will be available to students during scheduled clinics in the health center.
This highly contagious disease is occurring widely, and recommendations will be aimed at mitigation rather than containment. The most effective strategies for disease mitigation are personal prevention measures (hand washing, cough/cold etiquette, other non-pharmacological interventions, and obtaining the seasonal flu shot). The most important non-pharmacological intervention is the exclusion of ill individuals from public, school, and group activities.
In compliance with the CDC and PA Department of Health recommendations, KU will strongly encourage those with influenza-like-illness (ILI) to follow CDC self-isolation guidelines (www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidelines infection control.htm). The CDC recommends isolation until at least 24 hours after fever has resolved (without the use of fever-reducing medications). This recommendation was modified from the previous statement that advised ill persons to stay home for 7 days after the illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms, whichever was longer. Students should not attend class or any public gatherings while ill. Students who live in residence halls should leave campus and return home to recover. Likewise, faculty and staff who experience ILI should follow the CDC guidelines. It is imperative that infected persons safeguard the health of others by following the non-attendance CDC self-isolation guidelines. Based upon the anticipated cases, it is unlikely that health care providers will be able to provide verification of the illness. The health center staff at KU will not issue any medical excuses for missed classes.
Kutztown University’s "Pandemic Influenza Assessment Team" is providing overall guidance and engaging departments across campus in the implementation of specific plans for the protection of the campus community. The University is working with PASSHE and the PA Department of Health to implement response plans for institutions of higher education during the 2009-2010 academic year. For the most up-to-date information about seasonal and H1N1, visit “www.flu.gov “or “www.kutztown.edu/flu.”