Albion College H1N1 Influenza Preventative Approach
|Frequently Asked Questions|
As at other colleges and universities in the country, Albion College has prepared for potential exposure of members of the College community to the H1N1 influenza virus. Information regarding these preparations appears below. If you have any questions, please contact Student Health Services (SHS) at 517/629-0220.
Albion College Student Health Services staff have been monitoring information from the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the H1N1 outbreak and have also been in contact with state, county, and local officials. Additional information as well as regular updates on the College’s approach will be available on the Web site.
The World Health Organization has declared a worldwide pandemic based on the spread of the new H1N1 virus, not on the severity of illness caused by the virus.
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health Web site, influenza testing will only be conducted for “public health case investigations (e.g., ICU hospitalizations, severely ill pregnant women, patients with unusual and severe presentations, and deaths) and for congregate setting outbreak/cluster investigations.”
Because our student population will not be tested for the H1N1 influenza when they present to Student Health Services with flu symptoms, the initial medical approach to care will be similar to that for other flu viruses. For more treatment information, please see the Symptoms and Care page.
College community members are urged to continuously practice good health and hygiene habits.
- Follow good cough and sneeze etiquette by coughing or sneezing into a tissue (or if a tissue is unavailable, to cover your mouth with your upper arm).
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer especially if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home except to seek medical attention when you have flu-like symptoms.
All members of the College community should exercise personal responsibility, including eating right, getting enough sleep, not sharing utensils, and not drinking out of the same container with others.
- The College Crisis Management Team continues to monitor and implement best practices with regard to health issues. This team will continue to recommend action steps as needed.
- As the fall semester opened, an educational campaign began with the posting of “Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes” and “Wash Your Hands” signs around campus.
- The Student Health Services staff ordered seasonal flu vaccines in anticipation of offering these vaccines to the College community in mid- to late October. At this time, the vaccine for the H1N1 influenza virus is being developed. To monitor progress, see the CDC Web site.
- Facilities Operations staff mounted hand sanitizer dispensers in many high traffic areas around campus.
- Common H1N1 questions and answers are available on this Web site.
- Individual hand sanitizer bottles and educational material were distributed to all students via their campus mail boxes.
- Anti-bacterial soap and tissue boxes are being distributed to student rooms in on-campus housing.
- Postcards explaining the College approach to H1N1 influenza are being mailed to parents at their home addresses.
Classes will continue, as will programs, public events (including athletic events), and off-campus travel, and study abroad programs. In the event that any aspect of this approach changes, the campus community members and other constituents affected by the change will be notified. Faculty and staff members and students who experience flu-like symptoms should not attend work, class, athletic practice, College events, or travel on College-related business. Individuals who are unable to attend required activities due to illness are expected to consult with their teaching faculty, coach, athletic trainer, supervisor, and/or medical practitioner (as appropriate). (Students: Please note that class attendance and athletic event participation policies are set by individual teaching faculty and coaches, respectively, and these personnel should be consulted regarding absences from these activities.) This proactive approach will promote the overall health of the campus community, so thank you in advance for your cooperation.
For more information about the novel influenza A (H1N1) and seasonal influenza, please visit the Web sites listed below.
For specific information on vaccines:
For information on the seasonal flu: