UB Monitoring, Planning for H1N1 Flu

Campus community reminded to follow health guidelines

By Lois Baker

Release Date: August 27, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Emergency Response Team is closely monitoring reports of human cases of Influenza A (H1N1) throughout the world. While there have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 (formerly referred to as swine flu) among UB students, faculty or staff, the H1N1 virus has been identified in Erie County by the local health department.

UB's Emergency Response Team will continue to work with federal and local public health agencies to ensure the campus is as proactive as possible in addressing this public health issue. The Emergency Response Team team will continue to meet regularly throughout the semester to remain abreast of developments. Updates will be posted, when necessary, on UB's emergency Web site, http://www.emergency.buffalo.edu.

Health authorities anticipate another wave of H1N1 sometime this fall. To keep the campus as healthy as possible, UB officials encourage members of the UB community to follow these Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

• Don't share personal items, and if you share items, clean them often.

• Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

• If you do get sick, stay home.

Most people who become ill with H1N1 recover without requiring medical treatment, the CDC emphasizes. But be aware that according to health care experts, some groups are at a greater risk of developing severe complications if they contract H1N1. Those high risk groups include: pregnant women and those with respiratory disease (asthma, COPD), heart disease, diabetes, renal disease, morbid obesity or who have compromised immune systems. UB faculty and staff who develop a respiratory illness with a fever and who are in one of these high risk groups for severe complications from H1N1, should contact their health care provider; students should contact Student Health Services at 829-3316 to schedule an appointment. You should make it clear when calling that you are in a high risk group for influenza complications.

If you are not considered to be at a greater risk of developing complications from possible H1N1 and develop flu like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and possibly diarrhea and vomiting), the CDC recommends you should separate yourself from others as best as you can while you are sick and for at least 24 hours after fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications.

During your illness, health experts say you should drink plenty of clear fluids, get plenty of rest, and prevent spread by washing your hands frequently and refrain from sharing personal items (beverage containers, toothbrushes, etc.). Remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your sleeve) when coughing or sneezing.

For more information on Influenza A (H1N1), go to http://www.emergency.buffalo.edu, http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu and http://www.erie.gov/health/swine_flu.asp. You may also call the New York State Department of Health Hotline at 1-800-808-1987.