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Anna Martin's Oct. 30 note regarding the flu

Anna Martin, vice president for administration and chair of the Emergency Management Team, sent the following note to the College community on Oct. 30 - Ed.

As the number of faculty, students and staff experiencing flu like symptoms is increasing, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with updated information and a few general reminders.    First, it is important to note that while the total number of cases reported since September 1 is 530, only some 40-50 cases are active at any one time.  The total numbers represent less than ½ percent of our population.  All students are recovering uneventfully and there have been no hospitalizations related to the flu.  That being said, the number of reported cases is rising and we all need to continue to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

 H1N1 Vaccine

The H1N1 vaccine will be provided free to all students, faculty and staff.  We anticipate beginning to receive the H1N1 vaccine in the near future.  The first doses will go to health care personnel, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions.  The Student Health Center will then hold clinics for students.  Finally, the Office of Human Resources will hold clinics for faculty and staff.   Contrary to what was first reported, you will need only one shot of the H1N1 vaccine.

We will post information about when and where to you can get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.

General Information

All health alerts and information sources related to the flu pandemic are available on the College website.  We have restored the flu button to the homepage.  It will take you directly to the health alert page.  We ask that you limit calls to the Student Health Center as our doctors and nurses are extremely busy taking care of ill patients.  If you need information, please first check the website.

Continue to practice the preventive measures of frequent hand-washing, covering your sneezes, sanitizing surfaces, and not sharing containers or utensils.

For Students

The Student Health Center is following CDC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of the flu.

As a reminder,  the College does not have housing capacity for the temporary isolation of sick students or temporary housing of well students.  CDC guidelines do not recommend quarantining sick students.  If your roommate is sick, you can choose to do either of the following: move in with friends for a few days until your roommate is fever free for 24 hours or stay in the room and follow CDC guidelines to stay six feet away from the ill person, wash hands frequently, sanitize common surfaces and not share cups or utensils.

The Student Health Center is providing emergency nutrition packs to students who have the flu.  The packs include Powerade, Vitamin Water, soup, fresh vegetables and fruit to tide you over until you are able to have a friend obtain additional supplies for you.   A "meal buddy,"  a friend or roommate whom your trust with your ID card, may  bring meals back to you from the dining hall.

For Faculty and Staff

We appreciate those of you who have reported absences related to the flu on the HR website and urge others to do the same.  We continue to urge you to stay home if you have symptoms.  If someone in your household has contracted the flu, please use your best judgment in determining whether it would be wise to stay home.

We will continue to update the website with the best information at hand.  Stay well and take care of each other.

Anna B. Martin
Vice President for Administration
The College of William and Mary