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Student Health Services Cautions ODU Community About Swine Flu Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an advisory with information regarding reports of swine influenza (H1N1) in the United States. Of the 20 cases reported thus far, there have been no deaths in the US and none have been reported in Virginia, but the ODU community should be aware of the symptoms and take general precautions.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented.

As of 9 a.m. April 26, 20 cases were reported in the U.S., including California, Kansas, New York City, Ohio and Texas. Cases were also reported in Mexico. Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection and whether additional people have been infected with swine influenza viruses.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick with a fever and flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The ODU Office of Student Health Services strongly urges all members of the campus community to follow the recommendations of the CDC.

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Students with fever and flu-like symptoms may call Student Health Services at 683-3132 for guidance and further instructions.

This article was posted on: April 27, 2009

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

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