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1-800-808-1987

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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
December 10, 2009: To the Rensselaer Community
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From: Leslie Lawrence, M.D.
Medical Director, Student Health Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

H1N1 Update

I would like to remind everyone that there is an H1N1 vaccination clinic TODAY in the Great Hall of the Darrin Communications Center (DCC) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This clinic will be open to all Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff.

As of Wednesday, Dec. 9, we have experienced 237 cases of influenza among students on the Troy campus. In addition, we continue to receive reports of small numbers of faculty and staff with influenza-like illnesses.

As I noted last week, the overall number of H1N1 cases is trending downwards, but the CDC is predicting a second major outbreak of the illness as we move into the spring. Vaccination is your best protection from getting the virus and I encourage all on campus to consider being vaccinated.

As we move toward the winter break, I remind everyone to use the same hand washing and other flu-prevention precautions we have discussed all through the academic year. Remember that social gatherings are the most likely place to contract the illness and to keep a safe distance and avoid sharing cups or utensils. As with the shorter Thanksgiving break, I hope that everyone returns for the spring semester healthy and ready to being the new year.

We will maintain regular office hours in the Student Health Center throughout the break with the exception of December 25 when the office will be closed.

As always, our best protections against the flu include:

  • Vaccination with the 2009 H1N1 vaccine;
  • 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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