Flu Info/Opinion

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 2013Parent, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    (If this was already on here.....I could not find it..... seemed like a very good perspective from a knowledgable parent) Good to pass along to upperclass members?


    Post from the College Confidential site responding to Captain Fell's latest update:

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    Please be advised that I am a health care provider, but am not in contact with the Academy. The information below is FYI and based on my extensive research and contact with the CDC and Maryland State Health Department.

    First of all, the above letter from Captain Fell is very accurate in terms of information. The reason why I say that, is because much of what you will read in the paper and hear on television is not. There is, however, some information to add to his letter that may be helpful for you to know.

    Initially, there is NO TEST for H1N1 influenza. When specimens are "tested", that means that the swab specimen is placed on a petri dish and grown for three days. A microbiologist or medical technologist then looks at the specimen under a microscope to see if it looks like H1N1.

    The above specimen evaluation is only done for some of the cases. In Maryland, health care workers' and hospitalized patients' swabs are being evaluated. Students, children, and other lay persons are not having their specimens evaluated. Each state gets to determine how they handle this event.

    So you may ask, how are they determining who is infected with this flu? Good question. Cases of H1N1 are being determined by clinical presentation only. That means, if you have a fever > 100 degrees F combined with a respiratory illness (coughing, sore throat, congestion, body aches and fatigue) you are considered contagious and must be isolated for 7 days (or 24 hours after your symptoms subside, whichever is longer) or up to 10 days for children. They are assuming you have H1N1 because presently, there is no other circulating influenza in the US.

    The tests done for Influenza A in the doctor's offices are frequently done. Unfortunately, in adults, they have up to a 50% false negative rate. That makes the information that they provide not very useful.

    The big thing to remember here is that the population most greatly affected by this virus is children and young adults aged 5-24, with the average age being 16. This virus does not seem to affect the very young or old.

    The H1N1 influenza virus has caused the World Health Organization to raise the pandemic level to 6, the highest level, but this is for how it has spread, NOT because it is severe disease at this time. Right now, the course of the illness seems to be very similar to seasonal flu. There is NO indication that the virus has mutated and become more virulent.

    Things to take away from this letter:

    If you are sick, get immediate medical attention--antiviral medication can be helpful in decreasing the symptoms and needs to be started within the first 48 hours, or it is not effective.

    Sick means fever of > 100 and a respiratory illness--you absolutely always will have a fever with the flu.

    If you are sick, isolate yourself.

    You are still shedding virus even if you feel better and 7 days have not passed.

    Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing.

    My son is a Senior Drill Instructor this year for indoc. From what he tells me, they are handling this situation the way it should be handled. As I said, I have no direct contact with Academy health care personnel, just information through my son, but it sounds good to me.

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  2. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    What the mids are being told

    The Academy is doing everything possible. Here are the instructions they have give the returning midshipmen:

    "THERE IS A HIGH VOLUME OF FLU SYMPTOMS AND ILLNESS AMONG PLEBE CANDIDATES AND MIDSHIPMEN

    IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:

    fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, diarrhea and/or vomiting…
    YOU ARE DIRECTED TO
    • self-isolate (i.e., stay away from others) in your dorm room until evaluated by Patten Health Services.
    • You should exclude yourself from school, work, and related activities by reporting to Patten Health Services as soon as they open on Monday 27July at 0700.
    • Speak to your Company Officer about food arrangements or where/when to eat.
    • You should not go into the USMMA or outside community prior to seeking medical care.
    • When leaving barracks to report to medical or if you must leave your quarters ( to seek medical care or other necessities):
    o Avoid close contact with anyone
    o Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or other covering
    o Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
    o Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    o Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    o Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

    IF YOU ARE IN A ROOM WITH SOMEONE WHO IS SELF ISOLATED AND SICK WITH THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS:
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • remind the sick person to cover their coughs, and clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing.
    • everyone in the room should clean their hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

    THERE IS NO NEED TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IF YOU HAVE THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS UNLESS YOU EXPERIENCE:

    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    Sudden dizziness
    Confusion
    Severe or persistent vomiting
    Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough"
     

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