Swine flu update

To: UCSC Community

From: Drew Malloy, MD, Medical Director of UCSC Student Health Center

Many of you have read accounts of a swine flu outbreak in parts of Mexico and, more recently, in the United States. I'm writing to update you on our efforts to monitor this situation and offer tips to those of you who may be concerned about this potentially serious infection becoming more widespread

in our community.

The public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are closely monitoring the situation. As of this afternoon, there have been no confirmed cases in northern California. In the event of more widespread community outbreak in Santa Cruz County, UCSC leaders are prepared to work closely with local Public Health authorities to institute measures for reducing the spread of a serious infection.

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is be aware of recommended preventive measures for the swine flu, which are similar to those for other respiratory viruses. These include:

* 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. Germs spread that way.

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

* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

If you develop flu-like symptoms (that include abrupt onset of fever with temperature greater than 100, chills, severe cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat or vomiting) consult your doctor if you have traveled to a region with confirmed swine flu. UCSC students who have recently returned from travel to regions with confirmed swine flu and are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms should call or come into the Student Health Center for evaluation.

A UCSC web site (http://www.ucsc.edu/swineflu/) has been established with current information, including links to other campus information and various government sources. It will be regularly updated. Campus officials are continuously monitoring this outbreak to ensure that we are prepared to take additional steps if warranted.

See the Centers for Disease Control FAQ on swine flu.