Critical Information about H1N1

Critical Information about H1N1

January 24, 2014

To the Campus Community:

In the past two days, rumors and misinformation have been circulating about the possibility of the H1N1 virus (formerly known as swine flu) affecting UCLA students. It is critical that you read this message, which contains essential and up-to-date information. We want you to have the facts.

We are aware of 18 students who developed influenza-like illnesses. None of these cases has been confirmed as H1N1. Most meet the CDC definition of H1N1 flu “suspect” cases, and one was considered “probable.” Definitions for suspect and probable cases may be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.

At this time these students have either already recovered, are in the process of recovering or are under appropriate care (including rest, fluids and isolation). Moreover, experts do not recommend any change in routine activities for anyone who is not ill. Normal academic and workplace obligations should be continued.

The latest on H1N1

It is important to remember that all credible information indicates that H1N1 virus causes flu that is similar to the illness caused by the annual seasonal flu viruses. As public health experts have learned more about this strain of the flu, health care providers have been advised to treat H1N1 the same way they would treat seasonal flu.

Clinicians at the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center are following these guidelines and recommendations, which have been established by the CDC, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Ashe Center’s clinical leadership is in close contact with public health and clinical professionals at LACDPH, and is keeping campus administrators informed.

If circumstances change, UCLA administration will be notified immediately and will make appropriate adjustments.

What you can do to take care of yourself

In addition to a routine healthful lifestyle, the following are strongly recommended:

  • If you are well, practice consistent respiratory hygiene to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Cough or sneeze into tissues and immediately throw them away.
  • After coughing or sneezing, wash your hands or use hand sanitizing gel.
  • If you are ill with a respiratory infection (fever and influenza-like illness, such as sore throat, cough, body aches or fatigue) stay out of class or work for seven days, or 24 hours after your fever is gone, whichever is longer.
  • Rest, drink fluids and use acetaminophen (example, Tylenol) for aches and fever.
  • If you are ill with the above symptoms and have a chronic illness that could pose a risk for complications, such as lung or heart disease, go to the Ashe Center (students) or your health care provider (staff and faculty) for evaluation and, if necessary, antiviral medication.


Helpful H1N1 information and references are available on the Ashe Center’s home page, and the Ashe Center is ready to address questions about H1N1.

For staff and faculty, similar information is on the Environment, Health and Safety website. Additional considerations for UCLA employees are addressed in a Campus Human Resources memorandum.

Sincerely,

Jo Ann Dawson, M.D., M.P.H.

Executive Director
Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center

James H. Gibson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Director
Office of Environment, Health and Safety