With health officials expecting the H1N1 virus to spread this fall, health officials at Missouri University of Science and Technology are taking precautionary measures to guard against the spread of flu-like illnesses on campus.
Missouri S&T’s student health services has begun offering flu shots to incoming students, says student health services director Dr. Dennis Goodman.
“We’re activity promoting prevention and immunization,” Goodman says. “We’re encouraging students, faculty and staff to get their annual flu shots as soon as possible, beginning immediately. Once the H1N1 vaccine becomes available this fall, we will make it available to students.”
According to Goodman, the H1N1 vaccine should become available by mid-October. At that time, state health departments will release the vaccine to community health departments, colleges and universities. College students are among the top priority to receive the vaccine, since they live and study in close quarters.
“Prevention is the best way to avoid the flu, and immunization is the best way to slow the spread of a flu virus across campus,” says Goodman.
Since the H1N1 virus began spreading from Mexico and into the United States last spring, Missouri S&T has communicated the need for students, faculty and staff to follow the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to keep from getting or spreading viruses. Those recommendations are to wash your hands, try to stay in good general health, get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious food, always cover your mouth when sneezing, try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
In addition, Missouri S&T staff members have provided information to incoming students through informational sessions during student registration sessions and other events. The campus is also providing information through internal e-newsletters and on its website.
Goodman and his staff in the S&T student health services office continue to work with the Phelps County Health Department and other agencies to communicate the importance of preventative measures.