Texas Tech prepares to prevent H1N1 virus - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/09

Texas Tech prepares to prevent H1N1 virus

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech has been taking steps to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus formally known as Swine Flu, through an educational campaign, which urges students, faculty and staff to be aware.

Sandra Brown's daughter Chynna is about to start classes at Texas Tech University, and wants to make sure she is up to date on the latest H1N1 information.

"Actually I'm coming to find out about it because it's her freshman year and I'm concerned for her," said Brown.

Texas Tech University urges their students to be aware through a website they keep updated.

"What we are doing right now is an education campaign it's asking students faculty and staff to practice good hygiene," said Sally Post with Texas Tech University.

Recently a panel of scientists advised President Barack Obama that nearly half of the U.S. population could become infected with the H1N1 virus.

"I know that H1N1 is still in our community, it has been in our community since April," said Beckie Brawley with the Lubbock Health Department.

Brawley says the good news is the cases have not been severe.

"It's been a very mild illness compared to seasonal flu where there are so many deaths each year about 36,000 deaths a year from seasonal flu," said Brawley. 

The vaccine could dramatically reduce national predictions, but so far no doses have been given out. The centers for disease control hopes to have some doses of the vaccine distributed by mid October. But the Lubbock Health Department is not sure when the vaccine will be available here.

"Unfortunately at this time we have more unknowns than we have known, we are working closely with the state health department," said Brawley. 

But covering your mouth when you cough, and not going to class when you have flu-like symptoms is a good start to preventing the spread of the virus.

But probably the important preventative measure, Brown says her new college freshman knows well.

"Wash my hands after shaking hands with different people, touching door knobs, just anything that would cause bacteria and germs, trying to stay away from it, mostly just keeping my hands clean," said Texas Tech freshman Chynna Brown.

For more information on the H1N1 virus:

http://www.ttu.edu/flu/#symptoms

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu/default.shtm

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