August 27, 2009
Fall Flu Season Guidance for Higher Education
State public health department offers advice to keep students, faculty and staff from getting sick with the flu
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As students arrive on campuses to begin the fall semester, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, today stressed the importance of Illinois higher education institutions following new federal guidance designed to help keep students, faculty and staff healthy during the upcoming flu season.
“The seasonal flu and H1N1 flu will be circulating at the same time this flu season. However, unlike the seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus appears to be impacting a younger population, including college-aged students not accustomed to getting a flu shot or a severe case of the flu,” Dr. Arnold said. “The Department is urging colleges and universities to follow federal strategies to help reduce exposure to the flu and keep students, faculty members and other staff healthy, while at the same time continuing to hold classes.”
Dr. Arnold recommended the following guidance:
Should illnesses from H1N1 flu become more severe, IDPH may suggest additional guidance, including:
The Department is encouraging everyone, except those with contraindications, to get a seasonal influenza flu shot this year as soon as it is available in their communities. Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect against becoming ill with the flu.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to develop a vaccine for H1N1 flu, which is separate from the seasonal flu vaccine. Initial shipments of H1N1 vaccine are expected to be available in mid-October. The seasonal flu vaccine is one shot for most people, but it’s anticipated the H1N1 vaccine will require two shots. The H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine – it is intended to be used in addition to seasonal flu vaccine.For more information log onto www.ready.illinois.gov.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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