Sept. 4, 2009
To: Luther College Students, Faculty and Staff
From: Luther College Pandemic Influenza Response Team
We want to alert all Luther College students, faculty and staff that cases of the H1N1 influenza, commonly known as the "swine flu," have appeared on campus.
We remind the Luther community that this H1N1 influenza is NOT a virulent strain of influenza. Its symptoms are relatively mild, less severe than a typical season flu. As of Sept. 3, H1N1 has been reported on dozens of college campuses, and thousands of people have had flu symptoms; there have been no fatalities.
Although it is not virulent, the H1N1 virus is extremely contagious and spreads rapidly through communities, including college campuses.
We recommend you go to Luther's Influenza Information website, www.luther.edu/fluinfo. That site will provide information and an "Influenza Illness Report Form" that a student should fill out and submit electronically if she/he exhibits any symptoms of influenza.
Because the H1N1 virus is very contagious, we expect more members of the campus community will be infected in the weeks ahead. We ask all members of the Luther community to take the standard precautions to avoid spread of the flu, and to cooperate in our influenza response efforts.
There are some people in the community who are at higher risk, including pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions (heart condition, asthma, diabetes, etc.) that could aggravate the flu's severity. If you are an "at-risk" person, you should contact Luther Health Service, telephone 563-387-1045, or your family health care provider for information and advice.
We recommend the following precautions:
1. Avoid contact with ill persons.
2. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, then cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder and not into your hands. Throw used tissues in the trash.
4. Do not share food, drink, or utensils with others.
If You Have Symptoms
Symptoms of the H1N1 influenza include fever (100 degrees F or higher), body aches, running or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
If you have some of these symptoms, stay in your room and call Luther Health Service, telephone 563-387-1045, or after hours the Winneshiek Medical Center, 563-382-2911, or your family health care provider. Do NOT go to the Winneshiek Medical Center, local emergency room or other clinic; you could infect other members of the community.
Response for Ill Persons
For detailed information about actions you should take if you become ill with flu-like symptoms, visit www.luther.edu/fluinfo to go to the Luther influenza information website.
Faculty and staff who are ill should contact their supervisor to report they will not be coming to work. Unless seeking medical care, they should stay home and practice self-isolation.
Health Service open Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 5-6
The Luther College Health Service will be open Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6. Saturday hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Sunday hours are 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Those members of the Luther community experiencing flu-like symptoms are encourage to call the Health Service at 563-387-1045 if they would like to consult with a nurse.
For More Information
The CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm, is a current and valid source of information.
Students and parents who have questions may contact the Student Life Office at (563) 387-1020 or Health Service at (563) 387-1045.