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1-800-808-1987

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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
November 3, 2009: To the Rensselaer Community
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From: Leslie Lawrence, M.D.
Medical Director, Student Health Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

H1N1 Update

As of Nov. 2, we have experienced 187 cases of influenza among students on the Troy campus. Some 19 students have active cases of the illness. Of those, six are in isolation rooms and 13 are recuperating at home with their families. The remaining 168 students are fully recovered. In addition, we continue to receive reports of relatively small numbers of faculty and staff with influenza-like illnesses.

Today was the first official vaccination clinic at Rensselaer and we had a very good turnout. In other very positive news, we have received approximately 500 more doses of the H1N1 vaccine and have scheduled another vaccination clinic for tomorrow, Nov. 4. Please carefully read the following information on who is eligible to receive the vaccine tomorrow. Please note that only Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time. We cannot supply vaccine to our community members’ children or spouses. A Rensselaer Identification Number (RIN) is required.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4 an H1N1 vaccination clinic will be held in the great hall of the Darrin Communications Center (DCC).

From 11 a.m - 1 p.m. on Nov. 4 the following people are eligible and encouraged to receive a vaccination:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • The primary caregivers of children under the age of six months
  • Anyone with respiratory disease (emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or asthma), heart disease, diabetes, renal disease, morbid obesity, or a compromised immune system

This portion of the clinic is open to faculty, students, and staff members of any age with any of the above conditions. We ask that all faculty and staff who are pregnant or have any of the high-risk conditions listed above please consult their personal physicians prior to receiving the vaccine.

From 1 p.m. - 6 p.m on Nov. 4 the clinic will be open to ANY Rensselaer students, faculty, or staff.

We have ordered 6,000 doses of the vaccine. To date, we have received approximately 1,000 doses. We have no way of knowing if or when any more of the requested supply will arrive. We will continue to post information on new vaccination clinics on the main H1N1 Web site at http://www.rpi.edu/about/flu. We are hopeful that more clinics will be scheduled as vaccine supply allows.

Don’t let your guard down on prevention. The Capital Region is currently being hit hard by the illness and it is very widespread. Bring your healthy habits with you to events both on and off campus, including the grocery store and other public places.

As always, your best protections against the flu include:

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

Please take care.

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

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