Swine Flu Alert - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Swine Flu Alert

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
As you may be aware, the federal government has declared a public health emergency as a result of several confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the U.S., including some in New York. This declaration is described as "standard operating procedure" to free up federal resources to combat the virus.  It is expected that more cases will be confirmed in the the coming days.
Everyone is urged to take precautions indicated in the materials below.  If you become aware of any specific symptoms or circumstances, please get in touch with the dean's office on each campus immediately.
Currently there are no changes to campus operations or activities as a result of Swine Flu, but we are monitoring the situation, and will keep you informed should any changes need to be implemented.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine flu cases confirmed in NYC

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a national health emergency today and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygience (DOHMH) announced that tests conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed cases of human swine flu among students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens. The school is suspending classes on Monday.  The affected students have experienced only mild symptoms and many are already improving, but a similar virus has recently caused deaths in Mexico.

All of the U.S. patients have recovered fully. The Health Department’s surveillance system has not shown a citywide increase in flu-like illness.  An investigation of a cluster of children with illness in a Bronx daycare facility has so far not identified any confirmed or probable cases.

The symptoms of swine flu in people appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting as well. New Yorkers experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek health care and treatment. Otherwise, the Health Department recommends at-home care.

NYC DOHMH advises that the most effective way to lower the risk of influenza transmission is for people with symptoms to stay home. All New Yorkers should cover their mouths when they cough. If the outbreak becomes more serious the Commissioner of Health is prepared to take additional steps. JCRC will relay any such recommendations or orders.

Additional precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
  • If you are responsible for a school, office or institution and notice that someone is exhibiting symptoms ensure that they stay home in order to minimize contagion.

The full DOHMH press release is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2009/pr016-09.shtml.

A wealth of information from the Centers for Disease Control CDC), especially for schools, is available by following the links below.Take special note of the prevention recommendations.

The JCRC will continue to monitor local, state and national health sources and will send out other advisories as necessary. If you need further information feel free to contact David Pollock at the JCRC at pollockd@jcrcny.org or (212) 983-4800, ext. 132.

CDC Quick Reference Guide for Public Information on

Infection Control

*General Swine Flu Information*

Swine Flu Key Facts: Provides facts about Swine Influenza

Swine Flu and You: Provides answers to questions about Swine Influenza

Swine Flu Video Podcast: In this video, Dr. Joe Bresee, with the CDC Influenza Division, describes swine flu - its signs and symptoms, how it's transmitted, medicines to treat it, steps people can take to protect themselves from it, and what people should do if they become ill.

All you have to do is wash your hands Podcast:

This Podcast teaches children how and when to wash their hands properly

Swine Flu RSS feed:

Receive automatic updates on Swine Flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention right on your desktop or browser.

*Flu Information for Children/Parents & Child Care Providers*

The Flu: A Guide for Parents:Questions and answers about the flu, how to protect your child, treatment, and more

Preventing the Spread of Influenza (the Flu) in Child Care Settings: Guidance for Administrators, Care Providers, and Other Staff: Flu recommendations for schools and child care providers

Questions and Answers: Information for Schools: Printable version of answers to questions commonly asked by school administrators, teachers, staff, and parents

Protecting Against the Flu: Advice for Caregivers of Children Less Than 6 Months Old:
Research has shown that children less than 5 years of age are at high risk of serious flu-related complications.

Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School: Fact Sheet   

Ounce of Prevention: Tips and streaming video for parents and children about the steps and benefits of effective hand washing

CDC Free Flu Materials: This year’s seasonal flu materials are free for download—no printed versions are available. They may be printed on a standard office printer, or you may use a commercial printer. Emphasis remains on outreach to high-risk groups, as well as parents of all children, health care workers, and people in the workplace.

*Prevention Methods*

Clean Hands Saves lives: Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Setting :  Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings - 2002.

Hand washing to reduce Disease:Recommendations to Reduce Disease Transmission from Animals in Public Settings

BAM! Body and Mind. Teacher's Corner.:In this activity, students will conduct an experiment on washing their hands. They will learn that "clean" hands may not be so clean after all and the critical importance of washing their hands as a way to prevent the spread of disease.

CDC TV - Put Your Hands Together:(Video) Scientists estimate that people are not washing their hands often or well enough and may transmit up to 80% of all infections by their hands

Cover your Cough Posters: Stop the Spread of Germs that Make You and Others Sick! ... Printable formats of "Cover Your Cough". Posters only available as PDF files.

CDC flu information: Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

Questions and Answers: Information for Schools: Information about preventing the spread of flu in schools

Information for Schools & Childcare... Cover Your Cough Materials. View larger image. See the Cover Your Cough page on this site for poster and flyer formatted for use in schools. ...

Stopping the Spread of Germs: Stop the Spread of Germs Healthy habits at home, work, & school; Printable Materials, flyers & posters, Cover Your Cough, Germ Stopper Poster. ...

CDC - Be a Germ Stopper: Posters and Materials: For Community and Public Settings Like Schools and Child Care Facilities). ... Cover Your Cough also available for health care settings. ...

Cough Etiquette in Health Care Settings:Tips to prevent the spread of germs from coughing; Information about Personal Protective Equipment Demonstrates the sequences for donning and...

Workplace Planning: Includes flyers and posters, in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Chinese...

Seasonal Flu Information for Workplaces & Employees: Resources for Workplaces & Employees

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Tools for Professionals:Resources to help hospital administrators and state and local health officials prepare for the next influenza pandemic.

 Patient Education Materials: This season’s materials reflect outreach to high-risk groups, including caregivers and parents of infants...


See the Stop the Spread of Germs site at www.cdc.gov/germstopper.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu