OSU Prepares for Students, Swine Flu

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On Monday Ohio State University officials outlined steps they’re taking to prepare for the recurrence of influenza on campus this fall. That includes Swine Flu, also known as the H1N1 strain.

Several students already back on campus Monday did not seem to be too worried about the reemergence of Swine Flu. Eric Fink is a dental student.

“Not a whole lot different than seasonal flu, just take your standard precautions,” Fink said. “Regardless if there’s an outbreak or not I figure they’re not going to cancel class for us so if it happens, it happens.”

Christina Angelilli had a similar view.

“I’m really not that concerned,” Angelilli said. “I think that as long as I don’t drink out of other people’s cups; to make sure I cover my mouth if I have to sneeze, I think I’ll be okay.”

Along with the usual items students bring along to campus they’re now being advised to bring along some extra items, too.

“That would be thermometers, tissues, hand sanitizer, all the things that they would need to help minimize the spread of germs.”

That’s Dr. Roger Miller, a physician of preventive medicine at OSU’s student health center. That precautionary list might be cause for concern for some. But Miller says that with either Swine flu or seasonal influenza, symptoms are usually not severe.

“The majority of people with influenza are going to have moderate to mild symptoms,” Miller said. “And they’re going to get better on their own with self treatment.”

The University says it will not be routinely testing ill students for Swine Flu. And in fact, encourages those who are sick only to seek medical attention if symptoms get worse. That includes fever above 103 degrees, breathing problems or if there are health issues that put the individual at greater risk. Again the University’s Dr. Roger Miller.

“We are asking them to self isolate which means to stay in their dorm, not to attend classes and not to attend work until they are at least 24 hours without a fever and that’s in the absence of any medicines to prevent fever,” Miller said.

Students are also being encouraged to get vaccinations.

Seasonal vaccinations should be given, Miller says, to people with chronic health problems especially chronic respiratory disease and to students that have compromised immune systems.

Miller says that vaccination against Swine Flu is emphasized for younger people; anywhere he says from ages five to 24 years.

The vaccine for seasonal flu is already available. Swine Flu vaccine won’t be available until sometime in October.

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