Information about H1N1 Influenza for Brown Summer Program Participants and their Families
Health and Wellness Information
Information about H1N1 Influenza for Brown Summer Program Participants and their Families.
H1N1 influenza continues to circulate in Rhode Island, as elsewhere. Brown University has worked closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) since the outbreak began in late April, and we follow their guidance and recommendations for treatment and prevention. Most illness in Rhode Island has been mild, comparable to seasonal influenza. The following information for individuals participating in Summer Programs, and their families, is consistent with the latest advice and information from RIDOH.
Individuals participating in Brown Summer Programs will be asked upon arrival if they have currently or had in the past 7 days symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI): fever and cough or sore throat. Individuals who have had an ILI in the 7 days prior to the start of their Brown Summer Program should not come to campus and will not be able to participate in their program until 7 days after their symptoms began or until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.
In the event that a Summer Program participant arrives at Brown with ILI symptoms, or becomes sick while at Brown, they will be treated in accordance with guidance from RIDOH. Very ill participants (expected to be a rare occurrence) may be hospitalized. Less ill participants will be isolated from other participants on-campus. During the isolation period, which lasts at least 7 days from the onset of symptoms, the participant may not attend class nor go to the dining halls, library, gym, or other public places. Meals will be delivered to isolated participants and visitors will not be allowed. Participants in programs of a limited duration who are able to return home may find it more comfortable to do so.
Currently in Rhode Island, RIDOH is only testing a small sampling of individuals for the H1N1 virus. Testing is done for epidemiologic survey purposes only and is not utilized to diagnose or manage the patient’s care. Accordingly, although there are many viruses which present with symptoms identical to H1N1, all individuals with ILI will be treated as described above regardless of whether an H1N1 test is conducted.
Participants in Summer Programs who develop ILI symptoms (fever and cough or sore throat) should immediately inform their Resident Advisor or other program official. In addition, safety precautions individuals can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness are described below.
Further information about H1N1 and links to websites such as RIDOH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can be found on-line at:.
Health and Safety Preventive Measures
There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, cough into your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Wash hands before eating.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
- Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you are symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further