GC takes steps to decrease spread of H1N1

GC takes steps to decrease spread of H1N1

Delp plans to spend his flu-driven isolation watching movies on the couch.  Photo by Emily Miller.

Delp plans to spend his flu-driven isolation watching movies on the couch. Photo by Emily Miller.

Wednesday, September 9, Josh Delp, a second year, woke up with flu-like symptoms.  Around 9:30 am, he walked to the Wellness & Health Center to get checked out.

“They took my temp and I described my symptoms,” Delp said. “They said ‘looks like you have the flu, we’re probably going to isolate you.’”

Susie Lambright, the Resident Director for Kratz and Miller dorms, picked Delp up at the Wellness & Health Center and walked him back to his room.  After picking up some of his things, Delp was taken to East Hall, where he spent all day Wednesday in isolation.

“They didn’t say ‘don’t do this, don’t do that,’” Delp commented, “but I know I’m not supposed to leave and nobody’s supposed to come in”

College students all over the United States are experiencing similar events as paranoia increases regarding the H1N1 virus, colloquially known as swine flu.  GC’s Crisis Management Team, led by Frank Johnson, the Special Assistant to President Brenneman, has developed a strategy for dealing with possible flu outbreak at GC.

“We have been pretty diligent about taking this seriously from the very beginning,” said Johnson. “In terms of planning we haven’t released a formal plan to the public yet, but we do have very robust internal protocols,” he continued.

There is a vaccine available for H1N1, and Johnson is optimistic about its availability to students of Goshen College.

“Elkhart county is scheduled to get 29,200 doses of H1N1 vaccine in mid October…If we’re on one of the first shipment lists, every sleeve should go up, from age six to 24,”  Johnson said, referring to the most at risk age group for H1N1 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The best ways to combat the spread of the H1N1 virus are through good hygiene, such as hand washing and avoiding touching your mouth and eyes.  To assist in cleanly practices on campus, hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in many public areas, and 20 more have been ordered.

Though Delp’s condition is not a confirmed case of the H1N1 virus, he will be kept isolated from other students until he has been without fever and has not taken ibuprofen for a period of 24 hours, as recommended by the CDC.

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