News & Events

Swine Flu Preparedness

May 1, 2009

Hartwick College is carefully monitoring the current Swine Flu Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak that originated in Mexico and has spread to the United States, where it has been declared a public health emergency.

There are no reported cases in Otsego County; our region is considered at low risk, and there is no cause for panic.

We would like to take this opportunity, however, to keep the College community informed of the steps we are taking to ensure that we are ready to address a possible outbreak. Perrella Wellness Center is working closely with our County and State Health Department officials to monitor information and recommendations related to Swine Flu.

The most important steps we can all take to prevent the spread of the flu are personal. Fortunately, everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza are simple.

Prevention steps

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your sleeve. 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 hand cleaners also are effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Avoid contact with individuals who are sick.

Symptoms of Swine Flu

  • A fever of more than 100 degrees
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the flu. Many other illnesses have similar symptoms.

Students who exhibit any of the above symptoms should contact the Perrella Wellness Center at 431-4120 for an appointment. (Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday; after hours, go to the Fox Hospital Emergency Department)

Faculty and staff who exhibit any of the symptoms should seek medical attention from their primary care providers or their local emergency department.

Given the approaching end of the semester and finals, the College recommends that students, faculty, and staff limit their travel to infected areas and avoid contact with large groups of people—especially those who are sick. Remember to wash hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizers. If you are likely to have any visitors/guests coming to campus from infected areas, please encourage them to reschedule their visit.

For further information on the Swine Flu pandemic, go the following Web sites:

Hartwick College will continue to monitor the situation and forward additional information to the campus community when necessary.

Elizabeth Morley, RN
Director, Perrella Wellness Center