From the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist:
A case of the H1N1 virus has been reported involving a person associated with Johnson County Community College. JCCC has a response plan in place and is in regular communication with the Johnson County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (It’s important that you know about the virus, so we’re presenting that first, but please keep reading to the end for important information about reporting cases in Kansas.)
To help reduce the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of the used tissue.
- If you have the flu or a similar illness, stay home to avoid spreading the virus.
The symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 (swine) flu. If you have these symptoms or an underlying medical condition (i.e., pregnancy, asthma, diabetes, etc.) and have questions, please visit your health care provider immediately.
If you find you have flu or a similar illness, please stay home to avoid spreading the virus. The Center for Disease Control has reduced the 7-day isolation period and instead asks that people be fever-free while not taking fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen for 24 hours before venturing out among the public.
Information about JCCC’s response to the H1N1 flu virus can be found online at www.jccc.edu/flu. There we’ll communicate new information about the virus and about steps the college is taking as they develop.
You may also be interested in learning more from these resources:
- Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/investigation.htm
- The World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/en/
- U.S. Government, http://www.pandemicflu.gov/index.html
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, http://www.swinefluks.org
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment phone bank, 877-427-7317 (toll-free)
- Johnson County Health Department, http://health.jocogov.org
- Johnson County Health Department flu hotline, 913-826-1263
Reporting H1N1 cases in Kansas
This is probably not the first case on campus; it’s just the first one that has been reported to us. In Kansas, only severely ill patients who are hospitalized have confirmed lab tests, and those will be the only ones the state reports. If someone with the H1N1 virus is not hospitalized, his or her specimen is taken to a regular lab. It is not considered an official “confirmed” case and is not reported. Thus, while Kansas reports almost 250 confirmed cases in the state, the number of actual cases could be in the thousands. Therefore, in most cases, we will only know if the virus is on campus if the person involved lets us know. We will never know how many real cases we have, so we won’t be able to give you periodic reports that we have two, now three, now four – and so on – cases on campus.
So, please know:
- The health of our students, faculty and staff is very important.
- H1N1 is here among us. Please take the preventive measures outlined above.
- JCCC is monitoring the situation as best we can and has a response plan should the situation warrant action on the college’s part.