May 5, 2009
ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD
Ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty and staff remains our most urgent priority. In the spirit of keeping you updated on the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak in the U.S., classes and other university operations and events continue as normal. We understand this flu may present challenges for our faculty and students, who are preparing for the end of the academic year, and for our staff, who will continue business operations with fewer people in the office.
We are currently unaware of any confirmed cases of infection by the H1N1 flu virus among our students, faculty or staff at UC San Diego. Nonetheless, we recognize that this flu may continue to spread, requiring vigilance in monitoring and limiting exposure to this virus. Lacking evidence for serious illness, we will proceed as we do for seasonal flu. The symptoms for both seasonal flu and for that caused by H1N1 flu virus are fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
It's important that each of us be aware of the 2009 H1N1 flu symptoms and take the necessary precautions to limit risk to ourselves and our friends and families. These include covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; washing your hands often with soap and water and/or use alcohol-based hand cleaners; avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoiding close contact with people who are ill; and avoid non- essential travel to Mexico.
If you do get sick, we recommend that you stay home from work or school until your fever is gone, and your symptoms have mostly disappeared. Anyone who has been in close, personal contact with a confirmed case of H1N1 may be advised to stay home for 7 days. If you are sick, you should limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Ill persons at high- risk for developing complications from influenza should contact their healthcare provider. High risk persons include: persons 65 or older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, children on long-term aspirin therapy, persons with an immunosuppressive condition (including taking chronic immunosuppressive medication), and persons with certain chronic medical conditions including cardiac, pulmonary, renal, liver, hematologic, metabolic, or neurologic/neuromuscular disease.
Anyone who has severe illness (e.g. difficulty breathing, dehydration, confusion, prolonged fever) should seek immediate treatment. Students needing assistance can contact the Student Health Service; faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider. Students who live in residence halls and are worried about infection should visit the Student Health Service website at http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu/swineflu.shtml.
Faculty are encouraged to review the message from the Academic Senate Chair and the Senior Vice Chancellor regarding student absence from classes at http://adminrecords.ucsd.edu/Notices/2009/2009-5-5-2.html. Additional frequently asked questions and answers may be found at 2009 H1N1 Flu FAQ http://ucsd.edu/2009flufaq/.
The UC San Diego Medical Center's Clinical Director of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Randy Taplitz, has developed a video with helpful information including the most frequently asked questions and is available at: http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/video/swineflu.html. For more general information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm or visit the San Diego County website at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/Portal/News/042309swineflu.html.
UC San Diego has been preparing for illness outbreaks for many years as part of the Emergency Response Planning. We will keep you informed with daily updates on our website at http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/2009flu. We appreciate the care you take in keeping our community healthy and safe. Please continue to visit our website for regular updates: http://www.ucsd.edu/.