Announcement HighlightsPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/news/read/?id=1259162039&paper=topstories
University working with area health providers to slow H1N1
Health care leaders with the South Central Healthcare Systems Preparedness Program are working collaboratively to coordinate strategic efforts in response to the outbreak of the H1N1 flu.
“Our ability to respond to the needs of patients in the region is greatly enhanced by all of us working together,” said Eric Weller, South Central Healthcare Systems Preparedness Program Administrator. “I am extremely confident in our collective ability to treat those who are infected and respond to health and other concerns of residents.”
Recent news of the decline in the number of H1N1 Flu cases is not an excuse to put prevention efforts aside. On the contrary, now is the very best time to ensure everyone who wants the vaccine gets the vaccine.
“As more and more H1N1 vaccine becomes available, we are working diligently to make sure those at highest risk of contracting the illness receive the vaccine,” said Chris Connolly, director of Student Health Services at Minnesota State Mankato. “We believe the vaccine, coupled with common sense prevention efforts, offers the very best protection against the both the H1N1 flu and the seasonal flu.”
The South Central Region continues to offer vaccine to priority groups, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the MN Department of Health. Those groups include:
- Pregnant women
- Persons who live with or care for infants under the age of six months
- Health care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material
- Children ages six months through nine years
- Children and adolescents ages five through 24 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
“Our response to the H1N1 flu remains assertive, and we want to reinforce it’s everyone’s responsibility to thoroughly wash their hands, cover their cough and by all means, stay home if you are sick,” Connolly added. “In terms of the health care community, we continue to use standard precautions if or when patients present with flu-like symptoms.”
It is also very important people are aware of visitor restrictions being put in place by many of the hospitals in the region. This is being done to help ensure the health of patients, visitors and staff members.
These organizations have been working closely with partners in public health, infection control, other health care entities and the South Central Healthcare Systems Preparedness Program throughout the region to coordinate planning and response.
Officials urge the public to use common sense in responding to the news about H1N1 Flu.
“This is not a time to let up on our prevention efforts – it’s a time to be aware and to stay on task,” Connolly said. “If you’re not sick, we urge everyone to take steps to stay that way. Eat healthy, exercise and get appropriate rest. Again, hand washing is one of the very best ways to prevent the spread of disease.”
Additional updates from regional health care officials will be provided as the situation warrants.