Dear Students,

As you are most likely aware, flu activity continues to be widespread across the nation and flu activity continues to be on the rise.  According to the CDC, most of the influenza infections are caused by influenza A, subtype H3N2 strain.  Years when H3N2 is circulating tend to be periods when the vaccine is less effective.  However, it is still recommended that you receive the flu vaccine, even if less than an ideal match as it will still provide some protection against the flu. In addition, we are aware of GI virus activity in our area and expect this will also peak on campus this semester.

While we have not yet had confirmed cases of the flu so far this semester, we want to be as proactive as possible in addressing health on campus. Below you will find critical information to help keep our community well during this season. Please read thoroughly and keep this email for reference should you become ill. In addition, this information can be found at the website below:

https://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/health/influenza/

 

Preventative Action by the College:

To reduce flu transmission on our campus, the college is:  

  • Using a cleaning product that is effective against the flu and norovirus.

  • Wiping down common areas and bathrooms in residence halls at least twice daily

  • Cleaning more frequently in other high traffic areas of campus

  • Posting signs in the residence halls and around campus about the virus and how to prevent its spread

  • Monitoring the spread of the virus on campus

  • Encouraging students with the flu to practice social isolation by not attending classes or group activities


Preventative steps you should take:

We encourage you to take the following measures to prevent the transmission of flu on our campus:

  1. Get a flu shot
  2. Clean your hands frequently with soap and warm water or use alcohol based hand sanitizers when water is not available.  
  3. Avoid contact with people who are sick
  4. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  6. Get adequate sleep and good nutrition.  Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
  7. If you have a sudden onset of body aches, a fever of 100°F or greater and a cough and/or a sore throat, you may have the flu.  Student Health Services can evaluate you and provide treatment for influenza, including prescription of antivirals if clinically indicated.  Please come to the health center within 48 hours of symptom onset to be considered for antiviral medicine.
  8. If you have sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, you likely have the GI virus. The steps below apply to both sets of symptoms.

 

If you become sick with flu or flu-like symptoms: 
  • Complete the form found here. This will help the college track and respond to the spread of the flu on campus;
  • Go home to rest and recover if you are able or to rest and recover in your room until you feel better (*see details below);
  • Return to campus or to classes 24 hours after your fever has ended without the use of fever reducing medications;
  • Notify your professors by email that you are missing class due to the flu.  The professors are aware that students with influenza symptoms should not attend class. 

 

**Students with flu-like illness who are unable to go home should not attend classes or any public gatherings, including eating within the dining halls or use of the student union, library, or computer labs.  You should identify a friend, who utilizing a pass obtained through Health Services can bring your meals to your room for you.  Health Services will also supply you with a flu kit, which contains acetaminophen, ibuprofen, sore throat lozenges, and a face mask.  We ask that you wear the face mask whenever you come within 6 feet of another person (including walking through hallways and in the residence halls).

Please contact Health Services (484-664-3199) with any concerns.  Wishing you a healthy 2018!


Sincerely,


Allison Williams
Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students

Brynnmarie Dorsey, CRNP
Executive Director, Health and Counseling Services