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8/27/2009 - Jackson, Miss.

Encouraging good hygiene and keeping campus facilities clean are good ways to limit the spread of H1N1 and other flu viruses at Institutions of Higher Learning, according to updated guidance recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

H1N1 – commonly referred to as the Swine Flu – is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that originally surfaced in spring 2009.

Several of Mississippi's public universities have had confirmed or suspected cases of H1N1. Student health clinic directors have been in close contact with the Mississippi Department of Health, the lead agency handling H1N1 operations, and IHL emergency management officials to monitor the situation.

"We want to ensure that this semester is productive and successful for everyone at our institutions. In order to do that, we have to make sure our campuses are safe and healthy places to learn," Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds said. "Now is the time to be diligent about putting the proper preventive measures in place."

The CDC recommends that faculty, students and staff exhibiting flu-like symptoms stay at their home, dormitory or residence hall until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever.

If resources are available, the CDC also recommends that institutions establish methods of maintaining contact with students who are sick.

Some tips for staying healthy include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Carry alcohol-based sanitizer and use frequently;
  • Clean living quarters frequently, especially shared spaces; and
  • Talk to a health care provider about other preventive measures.

To view the CDC's Q&A on the new guidance for Institutions of Higher Learning, click here.


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