Work to Minimize Flu Season Effects
September 8, 2009
As many are aware, the H1N1 flu (formerly called the swine flu) continues to present a challenge. Please note, there are many resources available to faculty, staff and students.
Each week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts a report titled the “FluView,” which can be accessed online at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/. Other basic information may also be found at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/general_info.htm.
You can also go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Web site at http://www.flu.ov to stay connected on the issues surrounding flu season. In addition to precautionary steps, it is important to remain informed. By being knowledgeable, you are better equipped to assess what steps are appropriate. It is also essential that you know the symptoms (fatigue, dizziness, coughing, fever, diarrhea, etc.). If you are sick, remain at home. Likewise, if you become ill, please go home. In both instances, following up with your physician can provide you with a diagnosis and recommended treatment options. As appropriate, encourage your students to do the same.
Stay healthy, take the time to eat properly and to exercise. Personal hygiene is very key to good health. Also remember to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizers when wash facilities are not available. Keep your common areas replenished with hand sanitizers. Also avoid coughing into your hands; rather, use the bent arm method.
According to the 2008 CDC “Put Your Hands Together” report, “Scientists estimate that people are not washing their hands often or well enough and may transmit up to 80% of all infections by their hands. From doorknobs to animals to food, harmful germs can live on almost everything. Hand washing may be your single most important act to help stop the spread of infection and stay healthy.” Proof positive that Benjamin Franklin was correct when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Wash your hands, and do so often.
You also have wonderful resources at NOVA. The NOVA Emergency Preparedness Web site, http://www.nvcc.edu/emergency/, has a tremendous amount of updated information on the H1N1flu, among other illness and emergency preparedness information. Simply follow the links to the CDC, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the DHHS Web sites. This site has updated information and provides instructions on the appropriate precautionary measures to be taken. You may also access your city/county health department for insight.
For additional resources, see the attachment section of the Intercom's September 4 edition: http://www.nvcc.edu/pip/090409attachment.pdf.
# # #
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.