Dear University of Minnesota Students, Staff, and Faculty:
This is the first in a series of weekly updates that we will send you as the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus unfolds on our campuses. Many of you have urged us to keep you current as new information emerges and to remind you of prevention and treatment information and resources. We will do so throughout the semester.
You can always find current information about H1N1 and the University here.
As expected, H1N1 influenza has returned to the University’s campuses. So far, our campus contact networks report a small but increasing number of cases. The Twin Cities campus, for example, reports more than 50-60 cases of “influenza-like illness,” primarily among students. We expect these numbers to increase substantially in the coming weeks. Students living in residence halls who become ill are urged to return home if possible. If unable to return home, they are urged to self-isolate, self-treat, and watch for worsening symptoms requiring medical attention. As cases increase, it is important that those in high-risk categories (pregnant women, persons with chronic disease such as asthma and diabetes, and those whose immune systems are compromised) be especially careful to seek medical care if exposed or if experiencing flu symptom onset.
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Seasonal influenza vaccine is or soon will be available on all University campuses.
Twin Cities: The first vaccination clinic is at Boynton Health Service, on September 16. There is no out-of-pocket cost for students, staff, and faculty on the Twin Cities campus.
We remind you that the seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against H1N1 influenza. You will need to receive a separate H1N1 vaccination when it becomes available. We have no information as yet on availability timing but continue to believe that it will be mid to late October.
Kathleen O’Brien, Vice President for University Services and Officer of the Day
John Finnegan, Assistant Vice President for Public Health and Dean, School of Public Health