The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its Pandemic Alert Level to 5 due to the swine/bird/human flu virus. Today, Chancellor Nasser Paydar reassured the faculty, staff and students that the university is working closely with officials in the city of Richmond, Wayne County, Ivy Tech Community College and Reid Hospital & Health Care Services.
“As you know, several people have been diagnosed with an Influenza A strain called H1N1 flu (formerly known as swine flu) in the United States and Mexico. On April 28, the Indiana State Department of Health announced there is one confirmed case in a young adult in northern Indiana with a mild illness. Indiana University East is monitoring the situation at the campus, in the region, and at the federal level,” Paydar said.
Paydar has asked the IU East Emergency Management Committee to meet with colleagues from Ivy Tech, Reid Hospital, and the Wayne County Health Department to determine if further actions need to be taken now. “This committee will fully cooperate with IU Emergency Preparedness Committee, which is determining appropriate IU response should there be a flu outbreak,” Paydar said.
Symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to those of seasonal influenza. These include fever, cough, body aches, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. There is no vaccine currently available to protect against this flu. However, there are precautions that can be taken that will help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.
It’s important to:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stop shaking hands.
Employees and students are encouraged to not report to work or class if they have any flu-like symptoms.
For more information on IU East’s emergency preparedness, visit IU East online at www.iue.edu.