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Swine Flu Information

Student Health Services

The administration at Elizabeth City State University has been monitoring the recent outbreak of swine influenza across the United States. The university's Pandemic Flu Committee met to discuss implementing the campus pandemic flu plan if the campus experiences an outbreak. ECSU will continue to monitor the outbreak closely and will comply with federal, state and local government declarations.

What is swine influenza and how does it spread?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally contract swine flu, but human infections do happen. Swine flu is spread mainly from person to person by infected people who are coughing and sneezing. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.Washing your hands frequently can help lessen the spread of respiratory illnesses such as swine flu.

Symptoms and signs
Persons with swine flu exhibit the same symptoms and signs as those with regular seasonal flu, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Take this condition seriously, as swine flu varies from mild to severe. If you feel sick, seek medical attention. You may need to limit your contact with others so you don't infect them.

ECSU Students:
If you experience flu-like symptoms (see above), please report to Student Health Services, Albemarle Hospital, First Choice Urgent Care or a health care provider of your choice.

Things you can do to help prevent the spread of swine flu.
Following are some practices to help decrease the spread of germs. These practices are especially important during flu outbreaks:

Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Use your upper sleeve if you don't have a tissue - not your hands. Put the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often with soap and water will help protect you from germs. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Eating Pork.
You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160oF kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

Additional information about Swine Influenza
For more information about swine influenza and updates on the spread of the current outbreak, please visit the following websites:

The above information is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/).