Marquette Wire

H1N1 flu prevention plan in place

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As students arrive back on campus for fall classes, colleges like Marquette are preparing for an unwelcome visitor that may come along — the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

Cases of the contagious virus have already been reported on other college campuses such as Georgia Tech, the University of Kansas and the University of Alabama.

Marquette has had a pandemic influenza response plan for several years that includes providing accommodations for ill students apart from the rest of the student population. The plan is currently being reviewed and updated, university Communication Manager Tim Olsen said in an e-mail.

The university has been working closely with the Milwaukee Health Department, he said.

Marquette’s pandemic plan actively seeks the participation of students to keep the spread of H1N1 virus to a minimum on campus. In a Aug. 26 letter to incoming students, Carolyn Smith, senior physician for Student Health Service, advised students to take steps to prevent the spreading of the virus, such as covering mouths and noses when sneezing and coughing.

Some students said they were not worried about contracting H1N1.

“I honestly don’t even think about swine flu until someone else brings it up,” said Katie Robbins, senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

James King, a second year graduate student in the College of Arts & Sciences said he trusts vaccines will take care of the problem.

Students are urged to plan ahead in case they contract the H1N1 virus. If a student comes down with symptoms, they should remove themselves from all campus activities until the person’s fever has subsided, according to the Student Health Service Web site.

If possible, the student should leave campus, return home to recover and immediately seek medical attention if showing flu-like illness, the Web site said.

There have been 3,304 confirmed cases reported by the City of Milwaukee since April. The Centers of Disease Control has added students to the high risk group of people who should get the vaccination. The CDC has advised students to get the H1N1 vaccination, which will be available in October.

Others considered high risk include people with preexisting health conditions, women who are pregnant, and people younger than 30 and older than 65.

Student Health Service is also asking students to take advantage of seasonal flu vaccinations that will be available on campus Oct. 1. Prizes, ranging from area restaurant gift certificates to a big-screen TV, will be given away to students who receive the vaccination. The SHS goal is to vaccinate 3,000 students.

For more information or concerns, contact Student Health Services at (414)288-7184 or visit their website www.marquette.edu/shs.

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