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Saturday, December 03, 2016
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H1N1 Flu Information

To Students, Faculty and Staff:

There are two types of flu this season - the regular, or “seasonal,” flu that comes every year from November to April, and the novel H1N1 flu (previously called the “swine” flu).  This novel flu targets young adults and has the same properties in terms of spread as the regular flu viruses.  It is important that everyone in the College community take actions to prevent the spread of germs that cause influenza.

Practice good hand hygiene and avoid spreading of germs:
Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitizer after every personal contact.  This includes touching another person or commonly used surfaces such as chairs, desks, tables, counters, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.; after restroom visits; after coughing and/or sneezing.  Clean your personal space and doorknobs with Lysol or bleach-based cleaners (Clorox wipes) regularly.  This is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Practice respiratory etiquette:
Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.  Throw it in a garbage container immediately.    If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Wash your hands again!
Keep your hands away from your face, eyes, nose, & mouth to avoid “catching” a cold or flu.  Remember that prevention is 99% of the cure!!

Know the signs and symptoms of the flu:
*Fever of 100 or more
*Sore Throat
*Runny or stuffy nose
*Body aches

Stay home if you have the flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever.

If you Become Sick with the Flu:
*It is very important that you avoid contact with others as much as possible so that other people do not get sick.
*Take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for fever and muscle aches.  DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN.  Drink a lot of clear fluids, such as Gatorade, Sprite, and water.

*Promptly seek medical attention if you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of severe illness from flu, (pregnant women, those with asthma, chronic lung, heart, liver, blood disorders, or diabetes) or if you are concerned about your illness, or if you develop severe symptoms such as increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or rapid breathing.

*If you are sick, you must email your faculty and tell them that you have symptoms of the flu, and you cannot attend class.  You should stay out of school until you have had no fever, without fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours. For advice, you may call the nurse at the BSC Health Center at 304-327-4170

Vaccinations for the seasonal flu will be offered on campus in early to mid-fall, dates and times to be announced by the Mercer County Health Department. The Mercer County Health Department and Bluefield Regional Medical Center also offer vaccinations for the seasonal flu on dates and at locations to be announced.   Bluefield, Va. Wal-Mart has also, on occasion, offered vaccinations.   The Mercer County Health Department will announce vaccination times, dates and locations in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and via local radio and television stations. The H1N1 flu targets young adults; all college students are strongly encouraged to become vaccinated against this type of flu.  The Mercer County Health Department will offer these vaccinations on dates to be announced in early to mid-fall.

If you have questions about whether you should receive the flu vaccination, please talk with your health provider.