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H1N1 (Influenza) Information

Status Report

STATUS UPDATE – Jan. 5, 2010

The Health Center on campus has H1N1 vaccinations available. Faculty and staff, in addition to students, are welcome to get a free flu shot. Interested people should call the Health Center at 5094 to make an appointment. Flu shots will be available beginning Monday, Jan. 11.

The Health Center has a limited supply, but the state has pledged to replenish Tech’s supply in the case that all shots are distributed, according to Health Center director Susan Lewark. Since the shots are free, Tech employees should understand that the inoculation will not appear on their official medical records.

UPDATE – State Department of Health, Jan. 4, 2010. This is the last update from the state until further notice.

Vaccine: 615,000 doses ordered; vaccine should be available to all New Mexicans.Illness: 3.1 percent of people going to health-care providers are for influenza-like illness

Deaths: New: 3 Total: 50

Hospitalizations: New: 7 Total: 964

Deaths

Of the three new deaths related to H1N1, all patients had chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu complications. The cases were a 28-year-old male and a 56-year-old male both from Bernalillo County and a 34-year-old female from San Juan County.

Vaccine Information

The Department of Health has ordered about 615,000 doses of nasal and injectable H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine is arriving in small amounts and is being distributed to providers and public health offices statewide. Due to a change in the way vaccine is circulating in New Mexico, the Department can no longer accurately track how much vaccine each county has received. 

The Department of Health is encouraging people to call their primary healthcare providers first to ask if they are providing the novel H1N1 vaccine. People without insurance or a healthcare provider, or whose provider will not offer the H1N1 vaccine, can get the vaccine from a local public health office. Call your local public health office first to check the availability of H1N1 vaccine. Public health offices are listed in the phonebook’s blue pages under state government or online at www.nmhealth.org.

Hospitalizations by County

So far, there have been 964 hospitalizations related to novel H1N1 influenza this year. This week the Department of Health is reporting seven new hospitalizations.  The hospitalizations by county are as follows: Bernalillo County (248), Catron County (4), Chaves County (16), Cibola County (13), Colfax County (22), Curry County (57), Doña Ana County (118), Eddy County (28), Grant County (19), Guadalupe County (1), Hidalgo County (2), Lea County (30), Lincoln County (5), Los Alamos County (4), Luna County (13), McKinley County (74), Mora County (1), Otero County (28), Quay (7), Rio Arriba County (21), Roosevelt County (9), San Juan County (61), San Miguel County (9), Sandoval County (41), Santa Fe County (48), Sierra County (10), Socorro County (16), Taos County (22), Torrance County (2), Valencia County (31) and 4 cases where residence has not yet been determined.

Update: December 8, 2009 – The Health Center on campus is reporting that the number of flu cases among students has dramatically fallen over the past week.

As of Dec. 8, 2009, no students are confirmed to have the H1N1 virus. Just last week, several students were out of class with the illness.

The clinic has a small inventory of H1N1 vaccines. Nurse Susan Lewark said students and dependents who are in the high risk categories should drop by the health center to receive a free vaccination.

She also said that the general consensus is that the swine flu will not present elevated risk of contagion in the spring semester. She said the general community seems to have developed a general immunity to H1N1.

The campus Emergency Response Team does not plan on meeting again this semester.

Update: December 3, 2009 -- the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting it has received reports of fraudulent emails (phishing) referencing a CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program.

The messages request that users must create a personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. The message then states that anyone that has reached the age of 18 has to have his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site.

The CDC has NOT implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. Users that click on the email are at risk of having malicious code installed on their system. CDC reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of a phishing attack:

  • Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited email messages.
  • Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites.
  • Use caution when entering personal information online.

An example of the Phishing email can be viewed here.

State Department of Health's H1N1 Weekly Media Update: November 25, 2009

Influenza-Like Illness

Visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness continues to drop, but is still higher that expected for this time of year.  This week 3.8 percent of visits to providers were for influenza like illness compared to 5.8 percent last week.

The Department tracks influenza-like illness, which is defined as fever and either cough and/or sore throat, at 26 clinics throughout the state. Influenza-like illness is the best indicator of flu activity in the state.  H1N1 influenza is still the predominant strain of flu in New Mexico at this time. All positive flu tests are presumed to be novel H1N1 influenza. The severity of illness due to novel H1N1 influenza has not changed nationally or in New Mexico from the spring.

Disease Investigation

The Department of Health is conducting an analysis of all H1N1 deaths by race and ethnicity.  According to the analysis, American Indian and Alaska Natives are over represented in the deaths. This group represents approximately 10 percent of the populations, but accounts for 20 percent of the deaths. The Department of Health will be targeting this group with vaccination efforts through school-based immunization clinics as more vaccine becomes available. 

Deaths

The Department of Health is reporting four H1N1-related deaths in the last week in New Mexico. The latest deaths are an infant male from Quay County without chronic medical conditions, a 49 year-old male from Bernalillo County without chronic medical conditions, a 54 year-old female from Curry County with chronic medical conditions, a 74 year-old female from Valencia County with chronic medical conditions.

There have been 40 deaths related to H1N1 influenza in the state.  Information about the other deaths is listed on the Department’s H1N1 website at: www.nmhealth.org/H1N1.

New Mexico Tech ERT Update: November 24, 2009 -- The university’s Emergency Response Team met Monday for a tabletop session to review the team’s readiness to respond to an epidemic and past experiences.

In summary, the team is confident in its ability to react in the case that the H1N1 virus (or any other incident) became a crisis. Duties and tasks have been clearly defined, with clinic director Susan Lewark serving as incident commander.

The experience from spring 2009 was a learning experience for the E.R.T. and the university. Heightened monitoring of the spread of illness on campus has proved crucial for decision-making for the Emergency Response Team.

The team discussed what sort of circumstance would trigger a campus closure or cancellation of classes. Team members were reticent to identify a number of cases or a percentage of ill people on campus. Many disparate variables would factor in to that drastic of a decision, including severity of the illnesses, concentration by location and severity of the disruption to the educational mission. In short, a campus closure would be an act of last resort and the E.R.T. is committed to avoiding drastic action.

One area of weakness identified is that not all departments have completed formal continuation of operation plans.

In coming weeks, Glenda Chavez, the university’s emergency preparedness coordinator, will formalize the official response plan. The team expects a third wave of the swine flu to hit campus during the spring semester.

E.R.T. members believe that preventative measures have helped stem the spread of the illness, including increased custodial attention to sanitizing common areas. Behavior changes have also helped, such as increased availability and use of hand sanitizing stations. Increased awareness – thanks to mass media reports and intracampus communications – is thought to have had a positive effect as well.

As for a status update, the traffic at the clinic is steady but not out of the ordinary. The clinic has not received a new shipment of vaccinations.

Update Nov. 18, 2009 -- Vaccine Information

Starting this week, the New Mexico Department of Health will expand the H1N1 vaccine priority groups to include adults who have a medical condition that puts them at greater risk for developing complications. This group had always been included in the list of persons to receive H1N1 vaccine, however, because of limited vaccine supplies, this group had not been prioritized up to now.
The Department of Health has ordered 283,430 doses of nasal and injectable H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine is arriving in small amounts and is being distributed to providers and public health offices statewide.

People with the following medical conditions are at higher risk for complications: Chronic pulmonary (including asthma); cardiovascular (except hypertension); renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus); Immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV; and people younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy. 

The Department of Health is encouraging people in the following current H1N1 vaccination priority groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible: pregnant women, household members/caretakers of infants less than 6 months old, children 6 to 59 months of age, children and adults 5 to 64 years of age with certain chronic health conditions that increase their risk of complications from influenza, and healthcare workers and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient care.

The Department of Health is encouraging people in the current priority group to call their primary healthcare providers first to ask if they are providing the novel H1N1 vaccine. People in the priority groups without insurance or a healthcare provider, or whose provider will not offer the H1N1 vaccine, can get the vaccine from a local public health office.  Call your local public health office first to check the availability of H1N1 vaccine. Public health offices are listed in the phonebook’s blue pages under state government or online at www.nmhealth.org.

November 13, 2009 -- H1N1 Weekly Media Update for Nov. 12, 2009 from the State Department of Health

Influenza-Like Illness

Visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness dropped for the third week in a row to 6.6 percent from about 9 percent last week. However, visits to healthcare providers are still higher than would be expected for this time of year.
Disease Investigation

Novel H1N1 influenza is still the predominant strain of flu in New Mexico at this time. All positive flu tests are presumed to be novel H1N1 influenza. The Department of Health is tracking hospitalizations and deaths to determine if there is a change in the severity of the disease.

Deaths

The Department of Health is reporting three H1N1-related deaths in the past week in New Mexico: a 66-year-old female from Bernalillo County and a 42-year-old male from Santa Fe County, both with chronic medical conditions; and an 18-year-old male from Bernalillo County without chronic medical conditions.

There have been 29 deaths related to H1N1 influenza in the state.  Information about the other deaths is listed on the Department’s H1N1 website at: www.nmhealth.org/H1N1.

Vaccine Information

The Department of Health has ordered 203,710 doses of nasal and injectable H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine is being distributed to providers, hospitals and public health offices statewide as it is received.

The Department of Health is encouraging people in the following current H1N1 vaccination priority groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible: pregnant women, household members/ caretakers of infants less than 6 months old, children 6 months to 5 years old, children 5 to18 years with certain chronic health conditions that increase their risk of complications from flu, and healthcare workers and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient care. 

The Department of Health is encouraging people in these priority groups to call their primary healthcare providers first to ask if they are providing the novel H1N1 vaccine. People in the priority groups without insurance or a healthcare provider, or whose provider will not offer the H1N1 vaccine, can get the vaccine from a local public health office. Call your local public health office first to check the availability of H1N1 vaccine. Public health offices are listed in the phonebook’s blue pages under state government or online at www.nmhealth.org.

Vaccine Ordered by County

The following is a total amount of H1N1 vaccine that has been ordered for each county as of Nov. 12:  Bernalillo (65,590), Catron (190), Chaves (10,230), Cibola (2,920), Colfax (1,300), Curry (4,560), De Baca (120), Doña Ana (21,460), Eddy, (4,990), Grant (3,030), Guadalupe (330), Harding (20), Hidalgo (260), Lea (5,800), Lincoln (1,710), Los Alamos (1,610), Luna (3,020), McKinley (10,000), Mora (360), Otero (5,520), Quay (1,100), Rio Arriba (3,955), Roosevelt (1,690), San Juan (13,200), San Miguel (3,340), Sandoval (9,490), Santa Fe (13,985), Sierra (990), Socorro (2,450), Taos (2,400), Torrance (1,820), Union (390), Valencia (5,870).
Hospitalizations by County

There have been 838 hospitalizations related to novel H1N1 influenza.  The hospitalizations by county are as follows: Bernalillo (204), Chaves (14), Cibola (13), Colfax (20), Curry (53), Doña Ana (88), Eddy (28), Grant (8), Guadalupe (1), Lea (24), Lincoln (6), Los Alamos (1), Luna (13), McKinley (64), Mora (1), Otero (27), Quay (4), Rio Arriba (13), Roosevelt (10), San Juan (50), San Miguel (4), Sandoval (32), Santa Fe (43), Sierra (8), Socorro (13), Taos (18), Torrance (2), Union (1), Valencia (27), and 49 cases where residence has not yet been determined. 

November 3, 2009 -- The Health Center reports that traffic of students showing flu like symptoms has slowed down this week after a busy week October 26 to 30. The clinic has received 40 doses of the season vaccine – the nasal spray. The clinic is reserving those vaccines for students and their dependents age 2 to 18. No update about an estimated time of arrival for the H1N1 vaccine.

October, 29, 2009 -- The Emergency Response Team met Thursday, Oct. 29, to assess the swine flu situation. Currently, 17 on-campus students are exhibiting flu symptoms, with more off-campus students suffering illness.

To date, about 50 students are thought to have contracted the H1/N1 virus. All students who show flu-like symptoms are assumed to have the H1/N1 strain of the virus; however, not all sick students report to the clinic.

Only one student has required hospitalization, while several are in isolation – either in dorm rooms or off-campus housing. Some students have returned home while sick, although the clinic is cautioning those students to not return home if family members fall within high-risk categories.

The clinic has added another nurse working two days each week. The additional staff person is visiting off-campus students. The current medical staff includes a full-time and a half-time nurse practitioner and a half-time nurse.

The clinic and administration are streamlining the system of notifying professors when students are ill.

The greater Socorro community is seeing a decline in the number of flu cases in recent days, while the campus community is seeing an increase. The clinic has received 40 doses of the seasonal nasal flu spray vaccine.This is a live vaccine and cannot be given to pregnant women or people whose immune systems are compromised.  The spray will be given to people age 2 through 18 years old (students and their dependents). The student Health Center has not received notification of when H1/N1 vaccines will be sent to campus.

October 26, 2009 -- The State Department of Health has released a revised "flu decision chart." This document provides excellent advice about how to interpret "flu-like symptoms" and gives tips about the medical attention a person should seek.

October 22, 2009 -- The State Department of Health has issued a summary of H1/N1 activities within the state. For the complete report, click here.

October 21, 2009 -- The Student Health Center this week continues to see steady but light traffic of flu cases. Preventative measures seem to be having the desired effect of containing the spread of the virus. Less than 10 students and only one instructor are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. The clinic still expects to receive a shipment of the flu vaccine around November 1.

October 15, 2009 -- The Emergency Response Team met today to assess and evaluate the flu situation on campus.
Health Center director Susan Lewark said the clinic has seen a dramatic increase in traffic this week, although not all of the traffic is flu-related.

Currently, 13 students have the flu, including eight on campus, of which three have been isolated. Residential Life and Chartwell’s are coordinating delivery of meals to students on campus. So far, off-campus students have been able to rely on friends and family for day-to-day care. Among Tech employees, only one person has been confirmed to have the H1/N1 virus.

The Emergency Response Team reminds all students and employees that they are required to stay home when sick. Do not go to class and do not come to work! The Socorro community has experienced higher contagion than the campus community, Lewark said. She expects the flu to spread to a greater degree before it recedes.

Lewark reminds all students who feel as if they are coming down ill that they should visit the clinic immediately. She also encouraged everyone to conduct an on-line self-diagnosis. If you're still not sure what to do, read this "flu decision chart."

Clinic staff has been inoculating students with the seasonal flu shot. The H1/N1 flu shot will not be available on campus until the beginning of November. At that time, the entire county is expected to receive only 300-350 shots. Those vaccinations will be reserved for high-risk individuals first (pregnant women, people under 19 and those with other health conditions), then distributed to the general population.

Facilities Management has ample supply of hand-wipes and hand sanitizer, which are distributed in all campus buildings. Use them frequently!
 

October 13, 2009 -- The state Higher Education Department distributed a graphic created by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This diagram includes information about how the flu virus can be transmitted in the workplace, how effective the vaccine can be and how to minimize exposure.

October 13, 2009 -- The Health Center is seeing an increase in students needing medical assistance – for flu-like symptoms and other ailments. The university is in the process of hiring an additional health professional. In the meantime, Health Center director Susan Lewark is looking for a student worker or other Tech staff members who might be available to assist with managing traffic, answering phones, making copies and other office duties. Anyone interested should call the health center director at 5094.

October 12, 2009 -- The Emergency Response Team issued a letter to all university employees to outline policies regarding time-off and reminding employees of best practices to avoid the flu.

Health Center director Susan Lewark reports that Tech expects to receive swine flu vaccinations at the end of October. Vaccinations will be available free to students; if the Health Center receives enough, the vaccine will be available to employees as well. The CDC added extensive information about the swine flu vaccinations today.

September 16, 2009 -- The Emergency Response Team met this morning to assess the general health situation on campus. Although one case of the flu was reported early in the semester, the Health Center has not seen any students exhibiting flu-like symptoms in more than a week.

The Emergency Response Team has decided to meet again in two weeks, unless the situation changes. (The team had been meeting weekly.) The ERT members feel confident that the appropriate plans are in place to deal with the return of the H1N1 virus to campus. 

Things you can do

Student Health Center:  www.nmt.edu/health-center

The Six Preventative Measures Everyone Should Take:

  1. Avoid Close Contact: Viruses are spread by personal contact. Keep your distance to reduce chance of infection.
  2. Stay Home When You Are Sick: Pretty simple. Don't come to work if you're sick.
  3. Cover Your Mouth and Nose: Coughing and sneezing can spread viruses.
  4. Clean Your Hands: Hand sanitizers are all over campus. Use them.
  5. Avoid Touching Your Face: Viruses are spread through contact.
  6. Practice Good Health Habits: Drink lots of fluids, get sufficient sleep, eat nutritiously, stay physically active and manage your stress

These simple steps will help avoid contagion.

Notice To Students

The Emergency Response Team sent letters via campus mail Thursday, Sept. 10, and via e-mail to all students regarding the university's preparations for the swine flu. The letter includes tips for staying healthy (like those above) and instructions about what to do if a student becomes ill.

Students age 25 and under are among the groups of people categorized as "high-risk." The H1N1 virus does not seem to cause undue difficulty for healthy people over the age of 25, in most cases. Pregnant women are considered the highest risk, followed by infants, followed by people age 25 or less and people who have other medical conditions.

Nationwide, colleges and universities have reported 6,432 cases of the swine flu this fall (as of October 2). Only eight cases have resulted in hospitalization. If everyone (and students, in particular) take standard health precautions, the swine flu will not cause any more discomfort than the typical seasonal flu.

New Mexico Resources

H1N1 Influenza Hotline: 1-866-850-5893 (for all questions related about H1N1 Influenza)

Nurse Advice Line: 1-877-725-2552

Spanish Callers: 1-800-784-0394

New Mexico Department of Health Flu Information

Key Links

U.S. Information

Plan and Prepare

International Information

Federal Response Stages

Other Important Web Sites

U.S. Center for Disease Control

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Government Flu Information Site

Preparedness and Prevention

Good Health Habits Guidance

Control of Pandemic Flu Virus on Environmental Surfaces in Homes and Public Places

Workplace Frequently Asked Questions

Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace

Critical Infrastructure Guide

Travel Industry Pandemic Flu Checklist

Health and Safety Information