A student reported a case of the H1N1 flu this week. The patient is recovering, according to Jo Buczko, coordinator of the health services center.”It [the flu] was reported to us by the student,” Buczko said. “[The student] was tested by an outside agency.”
Asked if she was confident of the diagnosis, Buczko said she was. She did not say what outside agency had done the testing.
H1N1, also known as the swine flu is very problematic. “Those that are at the highest risk for the swine flu are those ranging in age from six months to 24 years of age,” Buczko said. “PCC has a big demographic of ages ranging in that area. This shot is crucial for the student body to be aware of.”
According to Buczko, the Health Center will be offering the H1N1 flu shot when it is available this fall, as well as the seasonal flu shot.
“Our most important shot this year is the H1N1 shot. Our students are at the highest risk and thus this is the shot they need the most,” said Buczko. It is unclear when exactly this shot will be distributed, but Buczko said it should be available between the middle of October and the beginning of November.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated online that the first case of H1N1 was detected in April. From April 15 to July 24, states reported a total of 43,771 confirmed and probable cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) infection, according to the CDC, and more than 1 million people have been infected in the U.S. since the outbreak started. Further studies show the “swine flu,” or H1N1 is compiled of two genes from pigs in Asia and Europe, as well as bird and human genes.
“I think it’s great that we have a place to get this shot, which is vital to staying healthy. Preventive action against this flu is crucial,” said Julian Nicholson, business major.
The CDC also said that the virus is spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Infection may also be due to touching a surface area or object with the virus and then touching the mouth or nose.
“It’s scary to think we could have a serious outbreak just by doing everyday things. Shaking hands, sharing drinks, and just coughing is dangerous,” said Thomas Rivera, a student.
Buczko also indicated that washing hands frequently is vital to staying well.
“If you start to feel sick or experience any flu-like symptoms, stay home, away from work and school. It is easy to infect others,” said Buczko. These symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, running or stuffy nose, body aches, and fatigue.
“Immunization is our theme this year for the Health Services Center,” said Buczko.
The seasonal flu shot distribution will be held Oct. 6 at the Community Education Center. There will be two distributions for the shot.
The first will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second from 4 to 6 p.m.
This shot will be for high-risk individuals. This includes those 50 years of age or older, those with a chronic illness such as asthma or emphysema, or any other respiratory issues.
For more information on the flu shots or the health services center you can visit the PCC website at www.pasadena.edu/healthservices.