Information on the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)
Here are some things you will need to know. Please remember, information will change and it will be important to keep up-to-date and follow public health orders.
Colleges and other institutions in our region are preparing for a flu season with both regular flu and H1N1 flu, or "swine flu." Health authorities are predicting that both will spread more slowly than earlier projections, and so far no H1N1 cases or unusual seasonal flu patterns have been observed at MVCC.
To promote our continued health, all members of the college community should take steps to protect themselves from the flu. Methods to help slow the spread of flu include actions that all community members should be taking such as frequent hand-washing, vaccination, maintaining clean environments, avoiding close contact with other people when sick, and staying informed of public health news.
Mohawk Valley Community College is also taking larger steps to fight the flu, such as working with Facilities staff to ensure adequate stocks of hand-washing supplies; reviewing faculty procedures in the event of large-scale illness; and mandatory flu briefings for residential students. In early November, the College will host a seasonal flu vaccine clinic administered by the Oneida County Health Department; details will be announced in the coming days along with a list of other options for people to get vaccinated.
We have created and updated an online resource for all students, faculty, staff, and their families at http://www.mvcc.edu/h1n1. This page will be updated regularly with the latest information from the CDC and other public health authorities. It contains instructions for protecting public health; tips for preventing the spread of flu; contact information; a guide to other flu resources; and the answers to some frequently asked questions about the flu. If the Oneida County Department of Health or other agency should issue specific public health directions for MVCC this flu season, that information will be provided online. The site was created by a committee led by Denise DiGiorgio, vice president for student services and dean of students.
I encourage you to educate yourself about the flu as much as possible, and to be diligent in your hand-washing and attending to your personal health. And I wish everyone a safe and healthy fall semester. Together, we can promote a healthy MVCC. For more information, revisit this web site and check daily for updates.
As flu season continues, all community members are advised to protect their health by washing hands often, avoiding close contact between sick people and well people, and following vaccination instructions.
Mohawk Valley Community College will be the site of a limited nasal mist vaccination for H1N1 influenza (the "swine flu") on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Utica Campus in the MVCC Commons of the Alumni College Center. The Oneida County Department of Health will administer this clinic according to the following guidelines:
- Vaccine will be free of charge.
- Only MVCC students, faculty, and staff age 24 and younger, down to age 2, may participate.
- Only people who are healthy, and who are free of certain health conditions and allergies, may participate. See this for details of what health conditions may interfere with people´s ability to receive this vaccine at this time.
- Oneida County Department of Health staff will be on hand to screen people and will reserve the right to turn away those who are not eligible.
- The vaccine will be administered only to eligible people on a first-come, first-served basis.
Other on campus clinics will be announced soon some with different guidelines and eligibility requirements. Vaccination events will occur in multiple locations and may be intended for specific audiences only, so read announcements carefully to determine whether you may participate.
Mohawk Valley Community College has created a flu hotline (315-792-5389, ext. 4555) for students to self-report suspected cases of the flu. The hotline is intended for use only by MVCC students who are ill with symptoms they suspect may be caused by the flu. It will not provide medical advice or diagnosis, and students should not call this number to seek help in a health emergency. To use the self-reporting service, students should call (315) 792-5389, ext. 4555. They will hear a recording and be asked to leave the following information:
- "M-number" (a unique numerical identifier for students)
- A brief description of symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, 100+ degree fever, aches and pains, or cough/sore throat
- Expected duration of illness-related absence from school
Students should only call the hotline once. If a student chooses to use the hotline to self-report an anticipated absence from class, the college will inform that student´s faculty members of the student´s identity and expected duration of absence.
This new system is in response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State University of New York System, and local health authorities calling for schools and colleges to track the spread of flu. This system does not diagnose flu cases. College officials will use the hotline to look for large changes in the rate at which illnesses are reported.
As a further step to educate the community about influenza, MVCC has held a series of seminars and other initiatives to share ways people can protect their health this flu season. MVCC is urging people to maintain high standards of personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing; to follow health authorities´ advice regarding vaccination; and, if sick, to avoid close physical proximity to other people.
"So far this flu season, we are fortunate in that we are not observing large-scale absence from classes or any confirmed cases of H1N1 flu," says Denise DiGiorgio, vice president for student services and dean of students, and the lead architect of MVCC´s efforts to slow the spread of influenza. "By launching these new educational and reporting measures now, we hope to help our community stay healthy and well-informed."
In early November, MVCC will be the site of a seasonal flu vaccine clinic for students, faculty, and staff. Details of the clinic will be announced on campus in the coming days. People affiliated with the college should check the site often for updates.
You may be asked or required to do things to help hold back the spread of the disease in our community. If local public health officials or your healthcare provider ask you to take certain actions, follow those instructions.
Here are some examples of what you may be asked or required to do.
For Students: When you are sick, stay home or in your residence hall, or apartment. Ask your RA or residence hall director or contact residential life on how you can obtain your meals from the dining halls, or what other provisions may be available. Students living in off-campus apartments should contact the MVCC Student Health Center for information and assistance. Children should not go to school if they are sick.
Even though you may be healthy, you could be asked to stay away from sporting events, movies and festivals. During a pandemic flu, these kinds of events could be cancelled because large gatherings of people help spread the flu virus. Isolation and Quarantine are public health actions used to contain the spread of a contagious disease. If asked, it will be important to follow Isolation and/or Quarantine instructions.
ISOLATION is for people who are already ill. When someone is isolated, they are separated from people who are healthy. Having the sick person isolated can help to slow or stop the spread of disease. People who are isolated can be cared for in their homes, in hospitals, or in other healthcare facilities. Isolation is usually voluntary, but local, state and federal government have the power to require the isolation of sick people to protect the public.
QUARANTINE is for people who have been exposed to the disease but are not sick. When someone is placed in quarantine, they are also separated from others. Even though the person is not sick at the moment, they were exposed to the disease and may still become infectious and then spread the disease to others. Quarantine can help to slow or stop this from happening. States generally have the power to enforce quarantines within their borders.
If you or a household member becomes ill during a pandemic flu and are being cared for at home, follow these instructions to control the spread of disease in the home. If a student needs to be isolated on campus follow campus specific instructions.
- Isolate the ill person WITHIN your home.
- Wash hands with soap or use alcohol-based hand rubs.
- Keep the living environment clean.
- Cover noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing.
- Watch all household and residence hall members for symptoms of respiratory illness.
- Make sure supplies are on hand.
The person who is ill should not leave the house unless they are being taken to a medical appointment. The sick person will have to stay home for two weeks after their symptoms begin, even if they are feeling better. Do not have visitors while the person is sick.
Designate a room(s) only for the ill person(s) so they are separated from other household members. The room(s) should have a door that can be closed.
The ill person should wear a protective mask when anyone is in the same room or car. People in the room or car with the ill person should also wear a protective mask. Disposable gloves should be used when cleaning or disinfecting any room or area where the sick person has been.
Everyone in the household - and it is important to remind children - should wash their hands with soap between contacts with others, before preparing food, and before eating. Wash hands after touching tissues or surfaces soiled with saliva or nose drainage.
On a daily basis, clean surfaces and commonly shared items like microwaves, refrigerator handles, phones, remote controls, doorknobs and handles, toilet seats and handles, faucets, light switches and toys. Use a labeled household disinfectant or chlorine bleach mixture (see below). Store brand chlorine bleach can be used as a disinfectant by mixing Â¼ cup chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of cool water.
Remind children and others to cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, or to sneeze or cough into their sleeves. Put used tissues in a wastebasket, and then wash hands with soap or use an alcohol-based rub.
Even when a person is wearing a mask, they should cough or sneeze into their sleeve.
Contact your healthcare provider or student health center if a fever or other symptoms such as chills, cough, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches develop.
Keep supplies of masks, gloves, soap, tissues, paper towels and cleaning supplies on hand.
Make sure all sinks and restrooms are stocked with soap and paper towels.
Make sure that tissues are available in all bedrooms and common areas like living, dining, family, and computer rooms.
Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, getting enough rest and drinking fluids. And get your seasonal flu shot annually.
Stay informed by keeping up-to-date by listening to radio & television, reading news stories and checking out the web.
These common-sense steps can help stop the spread of influenza germs:
- Wash hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol based rub.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Put used tissues in the trash and then wash your hands.
- If you get sick, stay in your residence hall or home and away from others as much as possible. Do not attend classes.
- Don´t send sick children to school.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
The following are numbers for non-emergency calls and can provide disaster related assistance and preparedness information.
- Mohawk Valley Community College
- Student Health Center
Oneida County Department of Health and Communicable Disease 315.798.5290 Days; 315.798.5064 Evenings and after hours
Local radio and television stations, as well as a number of web sites, will provide information. In some instances, specific emergency instructions will be broadcast by:
|WIBX||New Radio 905AM||www.wibx950.com|
|WKTV||New Channel 2||www.wktv.com|
|Time Warner||News 10 Now||www.news10now.com|
|WTVH||New Channel 5||www.wtch.com|
|WSYR||New Channel 9||www.9wsyr.com|
|WSTM||NBC TV 3||www.wstm.com|
During a pandemic flu, it will be important NOT to go to the hospital except in the case of a medical emergency. Hospitals will be overwhelmed with patients during a pandemic and many sick people may have to be cared for at home or at a non-hospital location.
- Faxton – St. Luke´s Healthcare
- 1676 Sunset Avenue 1656 Champlin Avenue
- Utica, NY 13501 and Utica, NY 13501
- St. Elizabeth Medical Center
- 2209 Genesee Street
- Utica, NY i3501
- Rome Memorial Hospital
- 1500 N. James Street
- Rome, NY 13440
- Lewis County General Hospital
- 7785 N State St
- Lowville, NY 13367
- Little Falls Hospital
- 140 Burwell St
- Little Falls, NY 13365
- Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital
- One Atwell Rd
- Cooperstown, NY 13326
- Oneida Healthcare Center
- 321 Genesee St
- Oneida, NY 13421
- Slocum-Dickson Medical Group
- 1729 Burrstone Road
- Utica, NY 13501
Call your local emergency services number only in the event of a serious, life-threatening emergency. But remember, because a pandemic flu could be bigger than any other health emergency, the local emergency services number may be overwhelmed by the number of calls.
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