Dear Valpo students,
The first shipment of H1N1 flu vaccination has been received by Valparaiso University’s Health Center. The H1N1 vaccination will be given to students based upon guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with priority given to those 24 years of age or younger, pregnant women, and individuals who have health conditions associated with a higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
The H1N1 vaccination will be administered at the Health Center and its flu vaccination clinics as supplies permit. A limited number of doses are available in this first shipment from the Porter County Health Department, with additional H1N1 doses expected to be delivered shortly. The University encourages students to get vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu. A number of flu vaccination clinics are planned on campus this fall, with a complete schedule online at http://www.valpo.edu/healthcenter/flu/clinics.php. Those unable to attend a clinic may also be vaccinated at the Health Center, which is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To date, four students have tested positive for Type A influenza, which in many cases turns out to be H1N1 influenza. Three of the four tests have been sent to the Indiana Department of Health to determine whether or not the students had the H1N1 virus (the fourth student tested positive at a hospital off campus). The first test to come back from the state laboratory indicated the student did not have H1N1 influenza. While Valpo has not yet had a confirmed case of H1N1, we will most likely experience a case at some point.
Per recommendations from the CDC, Valpo’s Health Center is treating all students with influenza-like illnesses as if they have H1N1. Students who experience flu symptoms are encouraged to return home and isolate themselves from other people as much as possible for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Those unable to return home should stay in their rooms and isolate themselves as much as possible.
Students with flu symptoms should contact the Valpo Health Center at 219-464-5060 to report their illness, alert their professors, and ask to be excused from classes until they have recovered. Dining Services will deliver box meals to students who are isolated in their rooms while they recover. More information about flu symptoms and preventing the spread of the flu is online at http://www.valpo.edu/healthcenter/flu/.
While we will most likely experience more flu cases, I am encouraged to see many students, faculty and staff members taking action to prevent the spread of the flu. Your efforts will significantly reduce the number of flu cases we have at Valpo and help protect the wellness of our fellow students, professors, staff members, and guests.
Director, Valparaiso University Health Center