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UPDATE: The L.A. Department of Public Health will provide free H1N1 vaccine (while supplies last) to the campus community and area residents at Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle Ballroom Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The vaccines will be provided to individuals among these priority groups (set by public health officials):
* Pregnant women
* People living with or caring for infants under six months of age
* Emergency medical services personnel and health care workers
* Children and young adults from six months through 24 years
* People aged 25 through 64 years with chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, or weakened immune systems
The Department of Public Health has also scheduled other H1N1 vaccinations, including Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7-8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the El Sereno Recreation Center, 4721 Klamath St., Los Angeles 90032.
Many others are scheduled in Los Angeles County. Details are here: http://www.publichealth.
lacounty.gov/. For questions about H1N1 vaccinations and services, dial 2-1-1 to call the L.A. County helpline.
CAL STATE L.A. FIGHTS THE FLU: Nearly 100 hand-dispensers of disinfectant have been mounted on campus recently to help prevent the spread of germs. Pull up at the pump. Help yourself. Stay healthy.
CDC’s health tips
to fight flu viruses
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the main way influenza viruses – including the H1N1 virus (or “swine flu”) – are thought to spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, propels germ-laden respiratory droplets through the air, depositing them on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Influenza may also spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or on an object and then touches their own mouth or nose (or someone else’s mouth or nose) before washing their hands.
Here’s what the CDC suggests to stay healthy (and to protect others):
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners can also be used.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can spread that way.
- Stay home if you get sick. The CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school (for 24 hours after your fever resolves without the use of fever reducing medication) and limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Follow public health advice regarding school dismissals, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
- Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
- Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.
Wash hands. Cover mouth. Get vaccine.
Take it from nursing students – Get H1N1 shot Nov. 3
When it comes to fighting off the H1N1 virus or any influenza illness, Dr. Monica Jazzabi, director of Cal State L.A.’s Student Health Center, has three words of advice.
“I can’t emphasize it enough: Prevention. Prevention. Prevention.”
Jazzabi and other health officials strongly encourage that students and others on campus take these three key defensive actions:
1) Wash your hands well and often.
2) Practice good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
3) Get vaccinated.
To satisfy No. 3, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) will soon be holding mass-vaccination clinics, including one at Cal State L.A. Nov. 3. (See sidebar for details.)
More than two dozen advanced Cal State L.A. nursing students have volunteered to assist LADPH with the injections Nov. 3. They include members of Cal State L.A.’s Alpha Tau Delta fraternity for professional nurses and CSULA Nightingale Nursing Society, along with students in the “Public Health” and “Community Outreach” courses. Nursing Professor Karen Nielsen-Menicucci helped coordinate the student and faculty involvement.
According to nursing major and Alpha Tau Delta Chapter President Breanna Paltza, “As nursing students, we’d like to get as much practice giving out shots and working with patients. All of us involved have been trained in a laboratory and with actual patients in hospitals through our clinical rotations. And we like to help the community.
“Some people are skeptical about this new vaccine,” Paltza said, “but the benefits definitely outweigh the unknown. Children and adults younger than age 24 are among the at-risk groups, so college students should get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus.”
The Student Health Center has been giving “regular” flu shots for several weeks; however, those don’t apply to H1N1. It’s a different virus; and health officials are encouraging university students to get the H1N1 vaccine.
During the week ending Oct. 16, 2009, 440 new cases of “influenza-like illnesses” (ILI) – some of which may be H1N1 flu – were reported on university campuses in California, according to the American College Health Association. Throughout the U.S., 7,099 new cases of ILI were reported on campuses that week. (Through Oct. 16, 1,886 cases of flu had been reported on California campuses, and more than 47,000 on campuses nationwide.)
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, here’s what constitutes a report of an “influenza-like illness”: Combine a 100-degree-plus fever with a cough and/or a sore throat – in the absence of a known cause other than influenza (such as a positive test for strep throat).
Some, many, or perhaps most of these illnesses could be the H1N1 virus, or “swine flu.” The ACHA’s ILI monitoring helps college health professionals understand the pace and geography of newly emerging cases and, therefore, better manage responses to the novel H1N1 flu pandemic.
Flu news you can use – some helpful resources
Health officials have no shortage of helpful information regarding the H1N1 virus and efforts to prepare for an influenza pandemic. Here are some resources from Cal State L.A., the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and others: