The first class day of a new semester can be exciting, confusing, and deadly. As of August 13, H1N1 has attributed to 7,511 hospitalizations and 477 deaths in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control.
TJC has since taken steps to inform students, through the faculty, about this pandemic. The college sent an email to its entire faculty giving them instructions on how to handle a potential H1N1 victim.
Instructors are encouraged to keep their eyes open for students that are exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
“The H1N1 is distinctive. A person infected will experience severe headache, body aches, nausea, and fever. It will feel like you have been hit by a truck,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, ETMC First Physicians Clinic at Tyler Junior College.
Dr. Eijsink suggests to faculty if a student exhibits these symptoms they should go directly to the on-campus clinic to be tested.
Students have already paid a fee to cover being tested on-campus. If students do test positive for Influenza A, the clinic can prescribe Tamiflu to shorten the length of the disease and make it less severe.
The cost of the Tamiflu can be covered by the students insurance or the student can pay $100 for the five day prescriptions.
“Ninety-eight percent of Influenza A cases are the strain H1N1,” Dr. Eijsink said.
Along with the prescription, students are recommended to stay home for four days and avoid contact with others.
“If a student does test positive and we treat them, we will stay in close phone contact with them to ensure the condition does not worsen.” Dr. Eijsink said.
” I will bring it up in class and talk about it. I talked about it last spring,” Dr Eugene Kirkpatrick, History professor at TJC, said.
“We are encouraged to talk about it in class so our students are aware of the disease.” Dr. Kirkpatrick said. “If they know about it, then it’s also the students responsibility to get themselves checked out.”
“When I discuss this with my students, I’ll ask them to take it upon themselves if they have flu like symptoms to go to the campus clinic to get checked out.” said Stephanie Lassanske sociology instructor said.
Mrs. Lassanske will not go as far as kicking a student out of class because of an illness.
“If I notice something that’s disruptive or catches my attention, I’ll recommend they go to the campus clinic.” Said Mrs. Lassanke. ” The clinic is included in the students tuition and fees.”
Dr. Kirkpatrick also agrees he will not kick Students out of class for an illness, but will suggest a visit to the clinic.
“When it came back in April, we thought it was overplayed because it did not have a big impact. Now it’s come back and we see the real problem.” Dr. Kirkpatrick said.
The H1N1 virus is responsible for 477 deaths and 7,511 hospitalizations in the United States as of August 13, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The instructors are responsible for the well-being of their classrooms, but it is the responsibility of the students to seek medical attention if need be.
” I suggest if students exhibit signs of Flu and have a fever, they are sent to the clinic impatiently for testing.” Said Dr. Eijsink.