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Health advisory update on swine flu

April 30, 2009

Coastal Carolina University continues to monitor Swine Flu developments through the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Below is supplemental information and helpful links:

WHO has raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 5 - characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries. The declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent.

DHEC reports 16 confirmed cases in South Carolina, all related to a school in Newberry, SC and a recent trip to Mexico.

CDC reports 403 confirmed cases in the United States. School closings are recommended if there are confirmed cases in the school; travel health advisories remain in effect for travel to Mexico; wearing masks (N95) is recommended if in direct contact with confirmed cases; antiviral medications being sent to all states; college students living in residence halls should adhere to good health habits (see below) and if sick should visit campus health clinic; voluntary isolation for 7 days is recommended if sick; voluntary quarantines are recommended if exposed to sick individual(s); the virus is not transmitted through food.

Cases are considered "probable" AFTER the following criteria have been met, 1) positive influenza screening by your health care provider, 2) positive influenza A sub typing testing by DHEC, 3) further sub typing by CDC. Cases remain probable until confirmed by viral culture.

Good Health Habits for Prevention:

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

* Frequent hand washing with soap and water (wash hands for at least 15 seconds).

* Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to clean hands, if soap and water are not available.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* If sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others.

Helpful Links:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ (CDC)

http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/swine-flu.htm (DHEC) If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, please contact your primary health care provider. Students are advised to contact Coastal Carolina University Student Health Services at 843-349-6543.