Health and Wellness

Swine Flu(H1N1) and Seasonal Flu Preparation

Download the most recent H1N1 Health Bulletin.

Although the severity of flu outbreaks during the fall and winter of 2009-10 is unpredictable, more communities may be affected than were affected in spring/summer 2009, reflecting wider transmission and possibly greater impact.

The Center for Disease Control is working with state and local health departments to continually monitor the spread of flu, the severity of the illness it is causing, and changes to the virus. If this information indicates that flu is causing more severe disease than during the spring/summer 2009 H1N1/Swine Flu outbreak, or if other developments require more aggressive mitigation measures, CDC may recommend additional strategies.

First, what is 2009 H1N1/Swine Flu?

2009 H1N1 (sometimes called “swine flu”) 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 OrganizationExternal signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.

Second, why is 2009 H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?

This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

Third, how can I prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus?

Please follow these four keys to wellness:

1. Stay home when ill (faculty have been asked to relax attendance requirements in light of the threat of influenza). Not sure if you have a cold or the flu? Check out this helpful symptom chart.

2. Wash your hands with soap and water when available. Use alcohol based hand sanitizers when soap and water is unavailable.

3. Obtain your seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations (www.flucliniclocator.org)

4. Cover your cough!

Fourth, where can I obtain more information on the H1N1 virus?

Atlantic Cape's library has developed several resources on influenza and H1N1.

Atlantic Cape has also been providing information to the College community on H1N1 through the resources of the Center for Disease Control and the NJ Department of Health and Human Services.

Additional H1N1 Resources for NJ Colleges & Universities are provided by the NJ Commission on Higher Education.

Flu Preparation Basics:

Stock up on Essentials:

Stock up on at least two weeks of essentials such as water, nonperishable food, emergency and medical supplies, including prescription medications.

Have an Outbreak Plan:

Talk with friends and family about how you would respond to an epidemic. Plan on how you would care for one another.

Pick up the Habits of Healthy Behavior:

Encourage receiving the flu vaccine. When there is a flu outbreak in the community avoid large crowds. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Know Your Emergency Contacts and Information:

  • Local and out-of-town personal emergency contacts
  • Hospitals near your work, home and school
  • Family physician
  • Your State and local health departments
  • Pharmacy
  • Employer contact
  • School contact
  • Religious/spiritual organization

Useful Web sites and Phone Numbers:

American Red Cross Atlantic/Cumberland County

Office Phone: (609) 646-8330

Atlantic County Public Health

Office Phone: (609) 645-7700

Cape May County Public Health Department:

Office Phone: (609) 465-1208