We are writing today to notify our campus that one case of Influenza A was diagnosed at Whisler on Monday, Jan 22, 2018. Our concern is that additional cases of Influenza, within our campus community, could be on the horizon.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The virus is contagious and spreads through the air from person-to-person. Persons with the flu typically have an abrupt (rapid) onset, within a few hours, of all or some of the following symptoms:
- High fever
- Painful cough
- Generalized body aches
- Respiratory inflammation or wheezing
- Nasal congestion
- Sore Throat
- Remember these symptoms come on rapidly, NOT gradually.
If students are ill with flu or flu-like symptoms, they should not attend class, dining halls or other public spaces. If a staff member is ill with the flu or flu-like symptoms they should stay home. The general rule is you must be free of fever, without taking fever reducer, for 24 hours prior to returning to school or work.
The average duration of the flu is one week, but some symptoms may linger for up to a month. For people that are classified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as High-risk it is particularly important that you seek medical care immediately after symptoms appears. This high-risk group includes anyone with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disorder blood disorders, respiratory disease, impaired immune systems, or people over 65.
Students and staff should seek medical care if symptoms suspicious of Influenza develop. Flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, can occur. This is especially true for persons with chronic disease (high-risk group). Because of the risk of complications, antiviral medications are used with high-risk populations but the medicine should be started within the first 48 hrs. after symptoms develop.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, as listed above, contact the Whisler Center for Student Wellness at 740-587- 6200 for further advice.
The following are preventative strategies to help minimize your risk of getting the flu.
- Get the flu vaccination. The flu vaccination this season is effective 10-30% of the time, however the CDC still recommends receiving the flu vaccination this season.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use commercial hand sanitizers, especially after touching objects in public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- When coughing or sneezing, cough into the bend of your elbow or a Kleenex, rather than directly into your hand
Licking County Health Department offers immunizations, by appointment, on Mondays from 1:30 - 4 p.m., Tuesdays: 1:30 - 4 p.m. and 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., and Thursdays: 1:30 - 4 p.m. Medicaid and many private insurance plans are accepted. Students need to call 740-349-6535 to schedule an appointment.
Protocol for faculty and campus employment supervisors:
Because of the intense flu season, we want to share with faculty and campus employment supervisors the protocol for verifying student absences due to the flu. The Whisler Center is maintaining a master list of all students diagnosed with the flu. That list is shared with the Provost's office. After a diagnosis, students are advised to alert their instructors and campus employers via email as to their diagnosis and anticipated length of absence. Faculty and supervisors seeking a verification should then contact the Provost's Office. In order to guard against contagion, students are asked not to be in contact in person at work or in class for the duration of their illness.
If a student informs you about a flu diagnosis and you are seeking verification, please don't call Whisler or send a student there for a note. Instead, contact Jane Dougan in the Provost's office at extension #6344 or firstname.lastname@example.org for that verification.