An H1N1 Update from Dr. McKee:
As we begin our new school year, the H1N1 virus continues to be a concern for our public and university health systems. The World Health Organization has raised the alert level to 6, indicating pandemic; not because of the severity of this viral strain but because of its widespread nature.
We have been fortunate here in Clark County to have relatively few cases and low morbidity. We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with our local Clark County Combined Health District. We will be following all CDC, Ohio Department of Health and our local health department guidelines as we move through flu season and navigate through this H1N1 pandemic.
When vaccine becomes available, our health center staff will work with the Clark County Combined Health District officials to deliver vaccine to students, faculty and staff according to CDC guidelines. There are no details about when the vaccine will be available. We do know that that the vaccine will most likely be two separate injections, given 3-4 weeks apart.
The seasonal influenza vaccine will be recommended as usual throughout late October and November.
Much like seasonal flu, the symptoms of H1N1 virus are fever, cough, body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people will experience vomiting and diarrhea. Transmission is person-to-person, so frequent hand washing, coughing into your sleeve or elbow, and staying home if you are sick are critical.
More information about H1N1 virus can be found at the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu .
If you experience any symptoms that you think might be the flu, or have any questions, please call us at the health center, 327-7811.
Kathryn G. McKee M.D.
Medical Director, Student Health Center