As students pour into Ohio University from across the country and world, officials are urging members of the university community to take precautions to protect themselves from infectious diseases such as the flu.
Ohio University offers a number of online health-care resources, including a new Web site designed to provide the latest information about the H1N1 influenza A virus, previously called the swine flu. More health information and prevention strategies are posted on the Student Health Services' Web page at www.ohio.edu/hudson/topics/.
While no H1N1 cases have been confirmed at Ohio University, officials said today that one student has been diagnosed with influenza A, one of two main types of virus responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. H1N1 is a sub-type of influenza type A. (See the sidebar for more information about influenza A.)
University officials stressed that treatment protocols for both the seasonal flu and H1N1 are the same: Staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
"By following some simple guidelines, students can improve their chances of staying healthy," said Ryan Lombardi, dean of students. "If you cough, cover your mouth and throw away the tissue. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer."
For a video on effective hand-washing tips produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
Meanwhile, Lombardi said the university has reached out to the sick student to provide appropriate academic support as the new school year gets under way.
David Hopka, assistant vice president for safety and risk management, said the university has a pandemic influenza response plan in place, which is guided by CDC recommendations for institutions of higher education.
Recent updates to these recommendations are currently being reviewed by the university, along with continued planning with county health officials.
"Ohio University's central objective for this planning is to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff," he said. "Having these preventative measures in place will help us achieve this goal."