COVID-19 Safety Information

College Offers Influenza Info and Vaccinations

09/09/2009 

SUNY Cortland will be offering two information sessions on the threat of the H1N1 influenza virus and the steps students can take to minimize their exposure to contracting or spreading the virus.

Presented by Devin Coppola, M.D., the College's physician, the 15-minute PowerPoint presentation and five-minute video are titled "Influenza and You." A question-and-answer period will follow. The presentations will take place in Corey Union Fireplace Lounge at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Both events are free and open to the public.

"SUNY Cortland is continuing to monitor the activity of the H1N1 influenza virus," wrote Coppola in a letter to the campus community. "While the numbers of cases seems to be waning recently, 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. Therefore, the main focus of our attention now is on what might happen this fall and winter when flu season returns.

"We expect there will again be widespread outbreaks of both Novel H1N1 and the typical seasonal influenza strains. We are continuing to monitor the situation and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department 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."

Coppola shared several basic health and safety guidelines from the New York State Department of Health to avoid contracting or spreading the virus.

  • 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; and
  • stay home or in your dorm room if you are sick.

"Please do not come to campus if you are ill," said Coppola. "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."

The most up-to-date SUNY Cortland information on influenza can be accessed via a link on the College's home page at www.cortland.edu.

With the flu season approaching, SUNY Cortland will be offering non-H1N1 flu shots to students only from 2-6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, and from 2-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26. The cost is $10. Non-H1N1 flu shots will be available to faculty, staff and students from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the same location.

"We will be working with the local and state health departments to offer H1N1 vaccine clinics, when the vaccine becomes available, to all persons in the priority groups for vaccination," added Coppola. "These are all persons six months to 24 years of age, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses or immunosuppression which increase the risk of severe illness."