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Coastal Carolina University reports influenza cases

October 1, 2009

Student Health officials at Coastal Carolina University report that two students have tested positive for influenza A; results for H1N1 virus sub-typing are pending. Students seen in the University's Department of Student Health Services (SHS) who test positive are told to self isolate until fever-free for 24 hours, preferably in their family home. Other options include their residence hall room or apartment.

They are also prescribed medication and provided a flu kit that includes a mask and other preventive items. Students who are diagnosed in SHS are also told to inform their roommates to contact SHS if they have flu symptoms.

In 2008, Coastal Carolina University developed a comprehensive pandemic plan to address protocol, notification and response for managing an outbreak. H1N1 virus prevention tips have been distributed through university-wide e-mails and posted on electronic message boards in campus buildings.

For students diagnosed with the flu, the University has implemented an absentee policy. Faculty and staff have been encouraged to help students keep up with classroom notes and assignments when they are unable to attend class due to illness. Many of CCU's classes are making use of Blackboard, an online learning system which ill students can use to stay in touch with instructors. Students diagnosed the flu will also be able to participate in a meal pick-up service.

SHS has posted patient and clinical management guidelines on its Web site at the following link:

Preventive health habits:

Get your seasonal flu vaccinations now and H1N1 vaccinations when they become available.

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. Remain isolated until fever-free for at least 24 hours.

Eat healthy and get plenty of rest.

Students experiencing flu-like symptoms are advised to contact Student Health Services, and others are advised to contact their primary healthcare provider.

For more information, contact Martha Hunn, director of news and public affairs at 843-349-2962.