NMSU Update on H1N1 Influenza:
September 17, 2009 (pdf version)
Dear NMSU Community:
As you have likely seen in the media and heard on campus, the flu season
is under way and seasonal influenza as well as H1N1 influenza (Swine
Flu) has been diagnosed at universities across the country. Medical
personnel at New Mexico State University have diagnosed the first case
of H1N1 influenza in a 20-year-old female student living off campus. We
have seen approximately 11 cases of influenza-like illness since the
semester started on Aug. 15. The state of New Mexico has been
categorized by the Centers for Disease Control as having sporadic
NMSU has been preparing for an influx of influenza-like illness and
diagnosed influenza by providing information through an updated website
, posters in buildings across campus, a
display regarding the H1N1 influenza, prevention presentations for
campus departments and student groups and immunization clinics.
If you have questions or need information about influenza symptoms,
contact the Student Health Center at 646-1512 and ask for the triage nurse.
The Student Health center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday. The University Health Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to
noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have an
urgent medical need after hours with a fever of 103 degrees or fever in
combination with a chronic health condition, seek prompt medical
attention through an after-hours clinic or a hospital emergency room.
The Student Health Center will have the seasonal flu vaccine available
by October 1, 2009. The cost for the vaccine is $12 for students.
Employees, dependents and spouses enrolled in the state-covered NMSU
health plans can register online for the upcoming immunization clinic
set for Oct. 19-23, in the Academic Research Building C Room
110(Environmental Health & Safety Training Room). For more information
or to register visit www.southwestpharmacy.com
Free flu vaccinations will be available from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday,
Oct. 10, at Memorial Medical Center and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday,
Nov. 7, at Mountain View Medical Center.
The H1N1 influenza vaccine was approved for production by the Food and
Drug Administration on Sept. 15. We anticipate the vaccine will be
available for the community in late fall semester.
We want to emphasize the importance of prevention and self-care strategies:
1. While you are well, create a ďFlu KitĒ by purchasing a
non-aspirin fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Advil, a
thermometer, a decongestant, tissues and hand sanitizer. You should also
keep a supply of water and ready-to-eat canned or frozen foods such as
soup, cereal, protein bars, peanut butter, crackers, etc. Please note:
Wearing a mask when you are well does little to keep you from catching a
virus. It is most effective for those who are sick to wear a mask to
keep from spreading germs through coughing and sneezing.
2. Get vaccinated for seasonal and H1N1 flu. The vaccination
schedule for seasonal flu is listed above. We will be providing updated
information on the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.
3. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and
water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand
cleaners are also effective.
4. Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose
with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues into the
trash. If you donít have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow,
shoulder or sleeve, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose,
or mouth; germs are spread this way.
5. If you do get flu or flu-like illness (fever, cough, sore
throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue),
drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and take a non-aspirin
medication for fever. Seek professional medical advice as needed, but
especially if you have shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure,
increasing fever, dizziness or confusion, or severe or persistent vomiting.
Remember, if you have flu or flu-like symptoms, donít go to class or
work and stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a
fever. Call in and report your flu or flu-like symptoms to your
instructor or department.
For the most up-to-date-information, you can visit http://wellness.nmsu.edu
We will notify you via this website about any changes in our
institutionís strategies to prevent the spread of flu on our campus.
Any urgent updates will be provided via the universityís emergency
notification system via e-mail, voice and SMS. If you have not done so
recently, go to MyNMSU to update your emergency contact information.
Benjamin Diven, M.D.
NMSU Medical Director