LV Life Editor
The University of La Verne’s Student Health Center is taking several precautions to keep the campus as healthy as possible during the upcoming flu season.
The health center is registered with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department to receive the vaccine for the H1N1 virus.
Anyone between the ages of six months and 24 years of age is recommended to take the H1N1 vaccine said Cynthia Denne, director of student health services.
The health center will soon offer the H1N1 virus vaccine to all students, faculty and staff of the University for free.
“H1N1 is still a pretty big concern because the concern is it will turn into an epidemic,” Dr. Elias Ptak, a doctor at the health center, said.
“Within the next month the vaccine should become available,” Ptak said.
The vaccine will first be offered to students, faculty and staff who are considered in high risk. If there is still any vaccine available it will be offered to everyone else on campus.
The traditional flu vaccine will be available on Monday for $10 under the same conditions.
The most subjected to the H1N1 virus are those with lung disease, lung related problems and small infections, Dr. Ptak said.
Whereas two doses of the vaccine were once needed, now only one is recommended, which is an improvement, Dr. Ptak said.
“It’s very beneficial to offer the H1N1 vaccine at the health center because now many ULV students can be vaccinated,” Melly Ramirez, a sophomore business administration major, said.
In order to better aware students about ways to avoid spreading the flu, the health center has posted two posters in the restrooms on campus to warn students, faculty, staff and visitors to wash their hands after using the restroom and to always cover one’s mouth when coughing.
The posters are from the Centers for Diesease Control in Atlanta.
Another way the health center is urging students to remain healthy is the placing of hand sanitizers in highly populated areas on campus. Such places include the Campus Center and Founders Hall.
“It’ll be a pilot program because we don’t know how much use they’ll get,” Denne said.
“The single most important thing that students can do is wash their hands,” Denne said. “Good hand washing technique is key.”
“I think it’s great that they’re taking a stand against the outburst and contamination of H1N1,” Adriana Rojas, a sophomore business administration major, said.
The University is trying to instill self-isolation mode in its residence halls.
Self-isolation mode is a way to avoid spreading the flu from a sick student to the rest of the ULV community.
The program suggests that students who live in residence halls and have been diagnosed with the flu remain isolated from the rest of the student body.
This program is being used across the nation, Denne said.
If students are not feeling well, the best time to come into the health center for treatment is the first 24 hours of when the first symptoms occur, Denne said.
“Some symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, coughing, sore throat and just generally not feeling well,” Denne said.
Rest, lots of fluids and the proper medication are key to feeling better when diagnosed with the flu, Denne said.”If you’re coughing, cover your mouth,” Dr. Ptak said of the best way to avoid spreading the flu and cold.
“If you’re sick, keep yourself away from the larger population,” he said.
Awareness of the symptoms and the willingness to wash your hands after lunch and after shaking many peoples’ hands also helps to keep students healthy, Dr. Ptak said.
“The key is awareness and the willingness to reduce transmission,” Dr. Ptak said. “In our busy lifestyles we have a tendency to overlook those things.”
If you find yourself with fever higher than 104 degrees the best thing to do for yourself and for the rest of the ULV community is to stay home and be evaluated by a doctor, Dr. Ptak said.
Flu season will take place from early fall to late fall.
Angie Marcos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.