As the activity surrounding the international outbreak of H1N1 influenza (or swine flu) continues to rise, I wanted to update you on the current situation at Saint Mary's College and the steps the College is taking to minimize its impact on our students, faculty and staff.
There have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza among Saint Mary's College students, faculty or staff.
Our Incident Management Team (IMT) continues meeting daily to monitor the situation, enact measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu and to prepare the campus should an outbreak occur. Dr. Ali Rezapour is in daily contact with the Contra Costa County Health Department, and the IMT members are monitoring closely updates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. In addition, to aid in prevention of the spread of illness, hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed in high-traffic locations across campus and in the residence halls this week.
The seven Saint Mary's students who were spending the semester in Cuernavaca, Mexico, will be returning to the United States within the next 24 hours. They will go to their permanent residences and will complete any remaining coursework remotely under the direction of Professor Alvaro Ramirez. Their return is a precautionary measure - all seven students are in good health and have not shown symptoms of flu.
Symptoms of the H1N1 flu are similar to the more common seasonal flu. They include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting. If you begin to exhibit flu-like symptoms, students should visit the Health and Wellness Center (631-4254) and employees should see their primary care physician. The CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them as recommended by your physician. Learn more about the H1N1 flu by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/key_facts.htm.
I will continue to update the community on the current status of our preparations or of the emergency impact on our on campus. Please feel free to contact me with questions and expect to hear from me about this situation in the days ahead.
Chair of the Incident Management Team and Vice Provost for Student Life