September 14, 2009

H1N1 concern infects UM-Flint campus


The University of Michigan-Flint recently sent out a campus wide email warning students of the risks of H1N1 infection. Students have been advised to stay home if running a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and to keep their hands clean. Photo by Amanda Emery.


University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vahid Lotfi, sent an e-mail on Aug. 28 to caution students and faculty members of the risks of H1N1 infection (Swine Flu). Students are urged to stay home in case of a fever that has reached 100.4 or higher and to keep hands clean. Faculty and students are urged to stay home for at least 24 hours, or until the fever is reduced. Hand sanitizers will be more accessible on campus this fall semester.

The campus concern has been a national one, since rates of H1N1 illness has been unusual for August. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that H1N1 illnesses have remained stable, but are growing in some areas. Although the infection rates were highest during February, reports for H1N1 rose again in April. The numbers of infections are down since then, but have been at an unusual rate for the summer months. At this time, Georgia, Alaska and Puerto Rico have the highest rates of H1N1 influenza hospitalization and death.

The widespread growth of the H1N1 infection has created a need for a more immediate solution, which is why studies are now being done on the H1N1 vaccine. According to Reuters, President Obama has urged U.S. citizens to acquire the H1N1 vaccine, which will be available in mid-October. Students through the age of 24 will be the first to receive the vaccine for free from The Urban Health and Wellness Center, located in the William S. White building on the UM-Flint campus.

For students living on campus, the University will provide meals and transportation to clinics in case of an illness. Faculty members also received an e-mail concerning the absence of students due to illness. Faculty and staff have been urged to be understanding in case of an H1N1 infection. Students are being urged to contact their professors in case of a fever.

Further e-mails will be sent to students regarding H1N1 treatment and prevention on campus.

This story originally written by Rita Heidtman for The Michigan Times

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