The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office works closely with other University groups to prepare the campus community to respond to an outbreak of bird flu, swine flu, or other pandemic flu (influenza) virus.
Millersville University has a Pandemic Flu working group which meets periodically to update emergency plans and develop preparedness and response actions.
Updated information on the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) swine flu virus can be found here.
So long as the H1N1 Swine Flu virus remains a potential threat to public health, Millersville University has taken basic precautions such as setting up hand sanitizer stations in publicly occupied campus buildings (such as dining halls), updating emergency response and preparedness plans, and conducting public education about the Swine Flu virus. If conditions warrant, more action may be taken in accordance with the University Pandemic Flu Plan.
What You Should Know About Swine Flu
As of November 1, 2009 the H1N1 Novel virus (swine flu virus) is prevelant and widespread in 48 states. CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.
The swine flu vaccine is not widely available due to supply shortages. Millersville University has applied for the vaccine with the PA Department of Health. However, Millersville University does not yet have the vaccine.
To minimize the spread of Swine Flu, or any virus, take these steps to protect your health:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Sneeze and cough into your shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.