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Howard University Prepared for Swine Flu

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2009) -- In response to reports of additional Swine Flu cases in the U.S., Howard University and Howard University Hospital have made special preparations to identify and treat the disease among its students, employees and patients.

During a meeting Monday morning, members of Employee Health, the Howard University Hospital administration, medical staffs, pharmacy, nursing and housekeeping staffs developed a broad plan to test and treat those with symptoms of the disease.

As part of the plan, those with high fever, body ache, sore throat, nausea and diarrhea who have been in Mexico recently or in contact with people who have been in Mexico recently will be given special attention.

Mexico is at the center of the outbreak. More than 1,600 cases have been reported there and the suspected death toll has climbed to 149. Officials nationwide are concerned that college students who traveled there for spring break and other vacationers might be carrying the disease. U.S. officials Monday advised Americans against traveling to Mexico.
"Anyone coming from Mexico, we will have a protocol on what we should do to treat that person," said Dr. Vinod Mody, a professor of medicine and chief of Infectious Diseases at Howard University Hospital.

As an additional precaution at the University and hospital, all persons with high fever will be tested for Swine Flu. The University also has created protocols for the five locations where persons might be seen for illness -- the Student Health, Employee Health, the Emergency Department, the Tower Building and the Family Health Center -- to better identify and treat those possibly infected with the disease.

As of Monday, 40 people had been treated for the illness in the United States in California, Kansas, New York City, Ohio and Texas. No deaths have been reported in the U.S., and only person was hospitalized. There were no reports of the disease in the Washington metro area.

The University advises students and employees to adopt the following to stay healthy.

? 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.

Students who suspect they have the disease can call the Student Health Center at 202.806.7540. Employees can call the Employee Health Center at 202.865.1481

For more information about Swine Flu, please visit the following Web sites

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