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New York State
Swine Flu Hotline:

1-800-808-1987

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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
November 13, 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. 12, we have experienced 213 cases of influenza among students on the Troy campus. Some 16 students have active cases of the illness. Of those, two are in isolation rooms and 14 are recuperating at home with their families. The remaining 197 students are fully recovered. In addition, we continue to receive reports of relatively small numbers of faculty and staff with influenza-like illnesses.

As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving break, I wanted to share with you information on the hours of the Student Health Center over the break:

  • Thurs, Nov 26: 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • Fri, Nov 27: 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • Sat, Nov 28: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Sun, Nov 29: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Until the break, we will remain open during our regular office hours, which include our limited hours over the weekends.

You probably have noticed that our caseload has gone down over the past several weeks. I ask that you not become complacent, and that you remain vigilant to keep healthy during the holiday break, study periods, and exams. There is a growing caseload in the surrounding Capital Region, including reports of the first deaths from H1N1 in this area. The virus also remains strong in many other parts of the country. The recent estimates by the Centers for Disease Control on the number of deaths from the illness were recently reported by the New York Times to be several times larger than previously estimated, with approximately 4,000 deaths attributed to the disease at this point in time. We have so far been fortunate at Rensselaer, thanks in large part to the vigilance of our community, but the virus can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Bring your healthy habits with you to events both on and off campus, including on your trips home during the breaks. Continue to keep yourself, your friends, and your families safe as we move closer to the holidays.

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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