Lone Star College System Community,
LSCS will continue to monitor the H1N1 outbreak daily, including over the weekend. In the event one of the LSCS facilities is closed due to a confirmed case, notification will be provided to the media, on the web at http://www.lonestar.edu/, and across our computer system at each of our campuses. The decision to close will be based on information of confirmed or highly probable case(s) and recommendations from local public health agencies, such as, CDC, Texas State Department of Health Services, or Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES).
Monitoring of the H1N1flu outbreak continues by public health professionals around locally and the around the globe. This virus outbreak continues to grow predominately in the Americas (western hemisphere). The alert level as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) remains at Phase 5 because of ongoing concerns related to the outbreak. A Phase 5 alert “…is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region and this spread is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent…” (WHO, 2009) As of April 30, 2009 there have been 26 laboratory confirmed cases in Texas, four in Texas and one death of a toddler who had been in Mexico, had other complications, and was brought to Houston for treatment. All other reported cases are in various stages of recovery.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you or someone you know should become ill, this individual should stay home from work or school, delay international travel, and limit contact with others. For people developing symptoms following international travel, these individuals should seek medical attention. In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies recommend that you contact your healthcare provider. To avoid contracting this type of influenza there are everyday actions we can take to stay healthy:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective when soap and water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Seek medical attention if you develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.
There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Visit the links below to learn more about the H1N1 virus and measures you can take:
- Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services: http://www.hcphes.org/ or by calling (713) 212-0200 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Texas Department of State Health Services: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
LSCS will continue to monitor the situation, work with our community partners, and update our Web site, http://www.lonestar.edu/, as more information becomes available. We appreciate your support in keeping our community informed. Be Prepared…Stay Safe!Dr. Denise Walker
Chief Security Officer