*
*
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
About RPI Academics Research Student Life Admissions News Tour
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
H1N1 Influenza
Influenza Pandemic Home Page
General Information
Signs & Symptoms
H1N1 Prevention
Student Resources
Parents & Family Resources
Faculty & Staff Resources
H1N1 Frequently Asked Questions
Campus Status Information
Resources, Documents, Information about the Pandemic
Rensselaer Student Health Center
*
New York State
Swine Flu Hotline:

1-800-808-1987

*
*
The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
September 18, 2009: To the Rensselaer Community
*
*

From: Leslie Lawrence, M.D.
Medical Director, Student Health Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Re: H1N1 Influenza

I write to inform you that we have identified the first confirmed case of influenza-like illness, most likely H1N1 influenza (also commonly known as swine flu), on the Troy campus. The affected student is being well cared for by our medical staff, and we have made arrangements to assign the student to an isolation room on campus, as stipulated in our plan for managing the H1N1 virus.

Rensselaer has been preparing for the onset of a difficult flu season, and our advance planning should allow us to minimize the impact of H1N1 on the campus community.

It is important to remember that each of you also plays an important role in this effort. The most effective tool for safeguarding the health of our campus is for you to be vigilant about preventing yourself from becoming ill, and taking exceptionally good care of yourself should you unfortunately become ill.

The H1N1 virus spreads remarkably fast, but we can combat its propagation if everyone on campus is serious about taking these following preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands often, especially after shaking hands with others (hand disinfectants may be used if there is no access to soap and water);
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow if you do not have a tissue;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially after contact with others;
  • Keep a three-foot [one-meter] distance between yourself and anyone who is ill.

On a more positive note, the H1N1 vaccine received approval from the FDA this week. This means that studies have determined the vaccine to be safe and effective. To date, the only side effects that have been seen in the completed studies are localized swelling and redness. The CDC is still stating that we should expect the first vaccine shipments to begin mid-October. I will let the whole community know our plans for distributing the vaccine when we have a firm date.

In the meantime, Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff are advised to contact a physician immediately if they experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever (100° F [37.8°C] or higher), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and, less frequently, diarrhea and vomiting. Students who have any of these symptoms should immediately call the Student Health Center at (518) 276-6287 to make an appointment. Faculty and staff who have these symptoms should contact their personal physicians.

It is important to note that while hundreds of students have exhibited flu-like symptoms over the past few weeks, only one occurrence of H1N1 has been confirmed on campus. To help members of the campus community better differentiate between symptoms of a common cold and those of the flu, we have created the following easy-to-understand chart: http://www.rpi.edu/about/flu/SymptomDifferences.pdf.

Anyone on the Rensselaer campus with flu-like symptoms should not attend class or work until at least 24 hours after their fever subsides. This pertains to everyone on campus, including faculty and research staff and students. Only after the 24 hours of no fever without the aid of fever reducers should someone return to class or work.

Our faculty is fully aware of this stipulation and will send home any student who appears ill. In addition, they will help ill students make up for lost time in the classroom.

We will immediately call the parents of any student who is diagnosed with the H1N1 flu. When feasible, parents whose students are diagnosed with H1N1 will be asked to arrange transportation home for them as soon as possible, in order to provide care in the home environment. We are well prepared to take care of the students who cannot leave the campus due to the distance from home, but we plan to limit that number as much as possible to reduce the risk of infection to others on the campus. We discourage students with the flu from driving themselves home.

All affected students will be monitored on a daily basis by our medical staff. Healthy boxed meals, cleaning supplies, and linen services will be provided to any student who remains on campus and is diagnosed with flu. The duration of the flu is currently estimated at five to eight days.

We will closely monitor the number of cases on campus and the severity of the illnesses that we are seeing. We will continue to provide regular updates on our H1N1 Web site, http://www.rpi.edu/about/flu/.

Please take care of yourself and keep yourself informed during this difficult flu season.

Leslie Lawrence, M.D.
Medical Director, Student Health Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

*
* * *
*
**
*
**
Copyright ©1996-2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)  110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY USA 12180  (518) 276-6000  All rights reserved.
*
Why not change the world?SM is a service mark of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Site design and production by the Rensselaer Division of Strategic Communications & External Relations
*
*
*