As Brock students and faculty descend on campus to begin the winter term, worry about H1N1 is not their top priority.
“H1N1 has subsided on campus,” said Dr. Darrell Grant, University Medical Director. “It was already negligible by the end of last semester, and since people have returned from holidays there does not seem to be any presence. This reflects what we are seeing out in the broader community.“
Last autumn nearly 2,000 people received vaccinations at two clinics held on campus, and measures such as increased cleaning of “touch points” and many additional hand-sanitizing stations helped prevent H1N1 from becoming a major problem in the Brock community.
But officials will continue to operate Brock’s “Got Flu” online registry, as a way of monitoring any recurrence of H1N1 or seasonal flu. All faculty, students or staff experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked to record themselves on the registry when they get ill, and also to record their recovery. The registry is available on the Brock portal at my.brocku.ca/portal/
The Got Flu tool helps medical officials track the presence of flu-like illness on campus and respond appropriately. In the fall, the Got Flu tool data correlated very well with other tools that the local public health unit had at their disposal, indicating that the campus experience with H1N1 mirrored that of the community at large.
Looking ahead, Dr. Grant said, “No one knows what the winter flu season will bring. We may see a resurgence of H1N1, or of regular seasonal influenza, or of both. Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with either, but the Got Flu tool will help us be aware of any increase in flu-like illness on our campus.”
Although there are no further flu immunization clinics scheduled on campus, now is the time for people to get the regular seasonal flu shot. This should be available at the office of your family doctor, and for students, at Student Health Services.
Pandemic Influenza Preparedness