To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Leslie Lawrence, Medical Director, Student Health Center
Date: April 29, 2009
Re: Travel Recommendations - Swine Influenza
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that U.S. travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. Changes to this recommendation will be posted at www.cdc.gov/travel.
Faculty, staff, and students traveling to New York City and other endemic areas (consult the CDC website) should give serious consideration to the necessity of their travel at this time. The Rensselaer medical staff strongly recommends that individuals monitor this situation closely and follow travel advisories issued by federal and state authorities. Those traveling to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness with swine flu and take precautions. Specifically, review and follow the following CDC advice before and during your travel:
- Monitor the local situation.
- Pay attention to announcements from the local government.
Practice healthy habits to help stop the spread of swine flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Use waterless alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap is not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in a wastebasket.
- If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner (with at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.)
- Use the yard stick rule - stay 3 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Seek medical care if you feel sick:
- If you are ill with fever and other symptoms of swine flu such as cough and sore throat, see a doctor, especially if you think you may have had contact with someone with swine flu or severe respiratory illness in the past 7 days before becoming ill.
- Students who meet the above criteria should call the Student Health Center to make an appointment for an evaluation.
- Faculty and staff who meet the above criteria should make an appointment with their Primary Care Physician for evaluation.
After your return from an area that has reported cases of swine flu:
- Closely monitor your health for 7 days.
- If you become ill with fever and other symptoms of swine flu like cough and sore throat and possibly vomiting and diarrhea during this period, call your doctor or clinic for an appointment right away.
Contact Rensselaer if you have a suspected case.
Any member of the Rensselaer community who is determined to have a suspected case of swine influenza by an off-campus medical provider should notify the Student Health Center that they are a suspect case.
Anyone with a documented fever of 100.4 F or higher along with symptoms of influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and occasionally diarrhea and vomiting) should see medical attention immediately. Students should call the Student Health Center to make an appointment for an evaluation. Faculty and staff should contact their Primary Care Physician for an appointment. Any member of the Rensselear community who is determined to have a suspected case of swine influenza by an off-campus medical provider should notify the Student Health Center that they are a suspect case.
For further information see: www.cdc.gov and www.health.state.ny.us.