The H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu, is a new virus in humans. It is a quadruple reassortant virus, having genes from pigs, birds, and humans.
Currently, the H1N1 virus is being treated like an outbreak of any other seasonal flu. The recommendation of antiviral medications is used to treat severe influenza-like illnesses.
It is unknown at this time whether certain groups of people are more susceptible for serious flu-related complications with the new virus. For seasonal flu these groups tend to be adults 65 years of age or older, and children younger than 5 years old. That said, everyone should take preventative measures. The CDC is conducting laboratory studies to see if certain people may have natural immunity to the virus, depending on their age.
People experiencing influenza like illness (ILI) symptoms including fever, congestions, sore throat, headache, and other flu related symptoms should try to stay isolated. If you are experiencing these symptoms please call The Wellness Center (x4080). If you have a mask, especially if you are coughing, you should wear it when visiting The Wellness Center, otherwise cover your cough or sneeze. You will be given a mask upon arrival. This is to ensure the protection of persons you come in contact with.
The best prevent is to was your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Other preventative measures would be to avoid close contact (within 6-7 feet) with possibly infected persons.
There have only been 3 deaths in the U.S. from H1N1 as of May 11.
For your own safety and the safety around we encourage you to get informed and protect your health by washing your hands frequently.
For more information please visit: http://apps.carleton.edu/campus/flu/ or ask your SWA.
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