College of Marin will hold two H1N1 vaccination clinics. The Kentfield campus clinic will be held Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. The IVC clinic will be held Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. Shots will be available free of charge to students and will cost $10 for non-students. The vaccine is available to students, faculty, staff, and the public. If you cannot make it to the vaccination clinics either date please call (415) 485-9458 for an appointment or more information.
The CDC recommends vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and stresses the importance of vaccination for pregnant women, children, and caregivers of children younger than 6 months old. Since vaccines are abundant at this time, the College of Marin Health Center is recommending that all individuals be vaccinated.
Please see below for pdf files of COM's Pandemic influenza plan and H1N1 trigger point guide
What is 2009 H1N1 (swine flu)?
2009 H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway. The primary symptoms of novel H1N1 flu are fever, sore throat, and cough. These symptoms can also represent infection with the seasonal flu, which is an entirely different virus. Laboratory testing to confirm whether someone specifically has the H1N1 influenza is currently being done in very few situations.
Action Steps for Students, Faculty, and Staff to Prevent the Spread of Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 4 main ways you may keep from getting sick with the flu:
Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Cover your mouth and nosewith a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate, friend, or family member to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.
If flu conditions become MORE severe, students, faculty, and staff should consider the following step:
Extend the time you stay home or at your residence to at least 7 days, even if you feel better sooner. If you are still sick after 7 days, continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after your symptoms have completely gone away. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Follow these steps now to prepare for the flu during the 2009-2010 flu season
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Cover coughs or sneezes using your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands when a tissue is not available.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Frequently clean your living quarters. If you live together with other students, you should frequently clean commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, countertops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas.
Plan to monitor your health by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
Talk with your health care provider if you are at higher risk for complications from flu.
Symptoms of H1N1 The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time, but it’s possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).
Instructions for Students Exhibiting Symptoms of Influenza-like Illness
At the first sign of flu symptoms, please isolate yourself at home, do not come to classes, and, if you are at school, go home immediately.
Contact your health-care provider or Student Health Services (415-485-9462) and ask for a phone consultation regarding a flu-like illness. Typically, going into a health-care facility is not advisable unless you are in a high risk category for complications and it may be appropriate for you to receive antiviral medication. High risk categories currently include those who are pregnant, have a compromised immune system, and individuals less than 5 years old or more than 65 years old. Testing for the flu is not currently being done in settings outside the hospital, as this does not change the treatment plan.
Check your course syllabus for attendance and make up policies. We encourage you to communicate with your instructor as soon as possible.
Notify your instructors by e-mail or telephone to let them know that you are sick with influenza-like illness and when your symptoms began. Receive direction from your instructors on how you may be able to meet any class requirements you miss during your illness related absence.
Take good care of yourself! Home self-care of this illness includes Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for headache, fever, and body aches. Monitor your fever with a thermometer. Drink clear fluids throughout the day. If you have a cough that is unrelieved with over the counter cough remedies or signs of severe illness, contact your health-care provider.
Stay home per the guidelines issued by the CDC and Public Health Department as follows: Those experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.
PLEASE NOTE: If you attend classes or work in a health-care setting, you should stay at home for 7 days after the onset of flu symptoms or until symptoms subside, whichever is longer.
How you can protect yourself from getting sick.
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.
Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through the coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Please Note: College of Marin has installed sanitizing wipe dispensers in the entrances of buildings around campus for your convenience.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from those that are ill.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
Follow public health advice regarding closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
Get an annual seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.
Eat well, exercise moderately, and get sufficient rest.
College of Marin is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. College of Marin serves approximately 9000 credit and noncredit students each spring and fall semester.