Campus-wide Announcement about Swine Influenza
As you probably know from the news media, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been tracking cases of feverish respiratory illness caused by swine influenza (H1N1) viruses, and on Sunday evening declared a public health emergency with several confirmed cases in the United States. These were cases in California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York City. There are some suspected cases in Maryland that have yet to be confirmed.
For this or any similar type of medical related outbreak MICA would follow procedures established in the campus Emergency Action Plan to communicate and respond to the specific threat. We will continue to update the community through the MICA webpage, email, and (if necessary) the Emergency Notification Systems as we learn more.
MICA, along with other Maryland higher education institutions, have implemented certain precautions and are monitoring the situation closely while working with federal, state and local public offices. MICA also is capable of receiving a direct notification immediately from the National Safety Council alert system if other information becomes available or if specific procedures need to be implemented. We will continue to communicate any precautionary measures that can be helpful to you.
Of course our outstanding local medical institutions are ready and willing to assist in any way necessary.
MICA is asking all students, staff, and faculty who don't need to be in the Mt. Royal Medical Associates offices or in the Maryland General Hospital, to refrain from going to or through the facilities unless they are ill and need care.
All students, staff and faculty also are asked to:
- Actively monitor their own health and the health of their friends and family.
- Call their health care provider if, and as soon as, flulike symptoms appear.
- Consider avoiding travel to states and places abroad that are reporting cases of swine flu.
Although the CDC has not yet restricted travel, anyone returning from a so-called hot spot (currently this refers to Mexico, which has reported the most cases and the only deaths) will be required to report to Mt. Royal Medical Associates for symptom screening before returning to school or work. Those with flulike symptoms will not be allowed to return to school or work for seven days.
As members of the MICA community, employees, students and faculty members should take these actions to stay healthy:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 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 are also effective.
- To help prevent spreading germs, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Report any new respiratory illness consistent with influenza (fever, chills, cough, sore throat) if you have traveled to states bordering Mexico or have had contact with a known swine flu case.
The national situation is rapidly evolving, so please be prepared to receive more updates and recommendations in the coming days. Additional information and updates from national health and emergency agencies is being posted on the John's Hopkins CEPAR Web page, http://www.hopkins-cepar.org. Please refer to www.mica.edu for any updates specific to the MICA community.