Dear Members of the SUNY Cortland Community:
SUNY Cortland is continuing to monitor the activity of the H1N1 influenza virus. The number of cases seems to be increasing recently and there are still reports of illnesses all over the country and the world. The vast majority of influenza illnesses currently occurring around the world are the new H1N1 (swine) influenza. We are seeing some cases on our campus as well. However, the numbers have been low and are in no way alarming or unexpected. We are continuing to monitor the numbers of cases on campus and we are reporting them to the proper authorities (the local and state health departments as well as SUNY administration). We are continuing to monitor the situation and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the NY State Dept of Health on the status of H1N1. We are also actively involved in developing contingency plans to avoid disruption to our community. Please remember that this illness still appears to be relatively mild, so there is no reason for panic. We ask only that everyone use reasonable caution and stay alert to the situation as it evolves. As members of this community, here are some recommendations to help you as well as the entire campus community stay healthy:
What You Can and Should Do
- Follow the basic health and safety guidelines from the New York State Dept of Health: wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer; cover your coughs, preferably with a tissue or your sleeve, not your bare hands; stay home or in your dorm room if you are sick. For more info please follow this link:
- If you are experiencing conditions such as a fever, cough and/or sore throat that concern you, please consult your health care provider or Student Health Service if you are on campus. If your health care provider has advised you that you might have H1N1 influenza and has recommended isolation, please call Student Health Service at 607 753 4811. Information about suspected cases will be gathered to help identify clusters of illness in the SUNY Cortland community. We will be coordinating with our local health department in tracking illness in the general Cortland community as well.
- Please do not come to campus if you are ill, please wait until your symptoms have resolved, or at least 24 hours after your fever has resolved without fever reducing medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, before returning to campus. If you become ill while on campus, please stay at home (or in your dorm room) again for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves and avoid exposing other people. This will help us to greatly minimize the amount of illness on campus this coming academic year.
- Check the SUNY Cortland Web site regularly regarding any news that might affect classes, events, and the university as a whole. You can do this easily by making the college's main website your "home page" on your browser.
- Pay attention to any official emails you receive from the administration regarding this topic.
- Get a vaccine for the "swine flu" strain as well as the regular seasonal flu this year. We are working with the local health department to make this vaccine available to all persons in the priority groups for vaccination (all persons 6 months to 24 years of age, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses or immunosuppression which increase the risk of severe illness).
- Prepare yourself in case of a pandemic emergency. Especially have a plan in place in case the college needs to close and campus needs to be evacuated. You should have one or two places that you can go to, and a means to get there, in the event of a campus closure. Please refer to the college website regarding pandemic preparedness at: http://www.cortland.edu/pandemic/
What SUNY Cortland Has Done
- We are working with the local and state health departments to offer H1N1 vaccine clinics when the vaccine becomes available.
- Members of campus's Emergency Response Committee continue to closely monitor the H1N1 situation.
- We have taken additional measures including signs, an increased Web presence, and distribution of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to help further protect the health and safety of the members of our community.
- We are coordinating with local officials in our response to the situation.
- We have set up a triage area in the Campus EMS area of Van Hoesen Hall (near the new entrance). This area will be in operation during the morning walk in hours (8:30 -11am Mon-Fri) to evaluate anyone with respiratory symptoms. This will help to reduce the congestion in the Student Health Service office.
For More Information:
The following links may also help to answer any questions you may have. Please also contact the appropriate college department for questions specific to SUNY Cortland.
Students with Flu-like symptoms click here
We will keep you updated with information about the status of the H1N1 influenza virus at SUNY Cortland. We expect it will continue to create some challenges this coming year, but we are prepared to deal with those challenges as they arise.
Devin Coppola, MD
Student Health Service
November 17, 2009