May 02, 2009

ASU has two cases of new flu - students have recovered

Posted: May 02, 2009

Updated May 8.

Two students at Arizona State University have been confirmed to have H1N1 influenza A flu virus, also known as swine flu. The students, who live off campus, have recovered and their close contacts have not developed symptoms of a flu-like illness.

News of the H1N1 influenza A cases comes after university health officials increased testing and surveillance of students when the new flu strain was first reported. Based on continued evidence of the mild nature of this flu strain and because flu is not widespread at ASU, the university will continue to maintain normal operations.

ASU will hold graduation ceremonies as planned. The university is honored to welcome President Barack Obama as our commencement speaker. In order to act in the best interests of our students, families and their guests, ASU asks anyone who is sick to remain at home and watch live coverage on local television outlets covering the event. For those attending the ceremony, alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be available at commencement and a first-aid station will be in Sun Devil Stadium.

ASU health officials will continue to address the new strain of H1N1 influenza A flu virus. The university is in full compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for higher education institutions. At this time, ASU is advising individuals who are traveling to Mexico to defer travel to Mexico City and other affected areas until further notice.

The university has a robust plan to protect the health and safety of its students in case of an outbreak of a widespread flu virus. Information from the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and the World Health Organization (www.who.int/en/) will continue to be monitored and prudent precautions will be taken at the university.

The university urges students, faculty and staff to self-monitor their health and contact their healthcare provider if you experience flu symptoms. If students are ill, they should come to any one of the health centers located on their four campuses to be checked.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu symptoms may include: fever; headache; tiredness; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; body aches; diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults).

Remember to incorporate the following personal preparedness methods into your everyday routine:

• Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water for at least 15 seconds (or the time it takes to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat) especially after going to the bathroom and before eating.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away after one use. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve, not your hand. Viruses are most commonly exchanged from the hand, not the mouth.

• Stay home from work or school if you think you might have flu symptoms.

• Rest, eat well and drink plenty of water to stay healthy and maintain strong immunity against bacteria and viruses.

• Call your health care provider at the first sign of the flu. Anti-viral medications may help in speeding up the recovery process.

If students are ill, they should come to any one of the health centers located on their four campuses to be checked.

For additional information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions PDF and www.asu.edu/uagc/EHS/pandemic. Flu updates are also posted at www.pandemicflu.gov. ASU's Health Services may be accessed at students.asu.edu/health. Medical questions about the H1N1 influenza A flu virus can be directed to ASU Health Services at (480) 965-1102 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays.