Swine Flu: Information for the Florida Tech Community

Last Updated 8/6/09

Overview

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel influenza A (H1N1) outbreak worldwide (more commonly referred to as the Swine Flu) had reached pandemic levels. Even though WHO’s action indicates that the new strain of flu has continued to spread throughout the world, the virus has not become more dangerous or more deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most cases of illness from this virus are similar in severity to seasonal influenza.  However, seasonal influenza affects millions of people worldwide each year.

Florida Tech Procedures

Florida Tech is prepared with process and procedures for minimizing the Swine Flu’s spread on campus:

  • Currently, the recommendation from health experts is to treat the Swine Flu similarly to the viruses that cause seasonal influenza.
  • Our Health Center and Student Affairs leadership monitor the Brevard County Health Department as well as the Centers for Disease Control daily to keep up on the latest information.
  • The CDC is recommending students, faculty or staff who live either on or off campus and who have influenza-like illnesses should self-isolate in their dorm room or home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
  • The CDC is not currently recommending that institutions cancel or dismiss classes or larger gatherings.
  • Florida Tech has a plan established if students who live on campus have confirmed cases of Swine Flu. Campus Housing has set aside apartments for isolation with all of amenities and door-delivery dining services until student is symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Any students who may develop flu-like symptoms are advised to report to the Health Center.

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

Here are the tips advocated by the CDC:

Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Practice other good health habits.

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

If you have any questions or concerns, call Florida Tech’s Health Center at (321) 674-8078. For more information on the Health Center and its services, click here: http://www.fit.edu/health/

To access the CDC’s guidance to colleges and universities concerning the Swine Flu, click here:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/guidelines_colleges.htm