UNK Officials Notify Campus of International H1N1 Outbreak; Advise Precautionary Steps to Take

LeAnn Obrecht
Counseling and Health Care director, 308.865.8248

UNK- Officials at the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Monday sent a campus-wide notification to students, faculty and staff informing  them of the H1N1 outbreak taking place nationally and internationally, and advising them of steps they can take to protect themselves and prevent the spread of influenza.

Although no cases of H1N1 have been reported in Nebraska, university officials are taking precautionary steps to inform and prepare the campus population.

“We have nothing to indicate we have anything other than a normal flu season here on the campus, but we feel it is important to inform the campus and be prepared,” said John Lakey, who heads the UNK Emergency Operations Team. “We are carefully monitoring the national and international situation.”

In the campus-wide announcement, the UNK Office of Counseling & Health Care cautioned: “Anyone who has flu-like symptoms and has traveled to California, Texas or Mexico during the seven days preceding their illness onset should consider the H1N1 infection as a possible diagnosis. Patients who meet these criteria should see their health care provider to be tested for influenza.”

Two Rivers Public Health in Holdrege called area medical clinics, including UNK Counseling and Health Care, Monday morning with a set of recommended procedures to follow with patients who display flu-like symptoms, and UNK Counseling and Health Care is following those recommendations.

The UNK announcement further noted: “The symptoms of H1N1 in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with H1N1 also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

“Stay away from sick people. If you yourself feel sick, stay home, wash your hands frequently, cough and sneeze into your sleeves not into your hand or the open air. Keep in mind that most H1N1 cases have been very mild. There have been only two deaths reported in the U.S. from swine flu since 1976 (one in 1976 and one in the 80’s). It [H1N1] is not contracted from eating pork. This isnot a human pandemic avian/bird flu.”

For further information, students, faculty and staff were advised to go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site: www.cdc.gov/swineflu