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Important Information for the Penn Community About Influenza Outbreak
May 5, 2009, Volume 55, No. 32

The University of Pennsylvania is actively monitoring the influenza outbreak in Mexico and other countries, including the U.S and Canada. We are working closely with local and state health officials to share information and prepare for the possibility that the outbreak may affect our community directly.

Symptoms of H1N1 influenza are similar to seasonal influenza and include fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases diarrhea and vomiting. Any community members who have recently traveled to an affected area or were exposed to someone with H1N1 flu, and are experiencing symptoms of flu, should contact a physician immediately.

• Students experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact the Student Health Service at (215) 746-3535 and select option 1 to speak to a nurse or provider.

• Faculty and staff experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact their personal physicians.

Public health authorities also recommend the following healthy behaviors:

• 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 hands cleaners are also effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

• If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department have issued travel warnings due to concerns over influenza, advising against all non-essential travel to Mexico at this time. Consistent with these travel warnings, the University is suspending all Penn-sponsored programs to Mexico until further notice. This includes Penn programs for academic credit, independent research projects, and non-credit study trips.

The suspension of programs to Mexico will be evaluated by the Provost and the Office of International Programs through the coming weeks and will be lifted when circumstances warrant. The University of Pennsylvania remains committed to our programs of study in Mexico and our strong partnerships with Mexican universities and higher education institutions.

For more information, visit: www.upenn.edu/pennnews/flu/

—Student Health Service


Almanac - May 5, 2009, Volume 55, No. 32