Swine Flu Advisory
With the recent outbreak of Swine Flu in the United States and internationally, the
Illinois Wesleyan community is mindful of the following information from the Centers
for Disease Control. Because of the likely travel represented among those attending
Commencement, we advise our guests to consider these recommended precautions.
How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza virus is thought to be happening in the same way that
seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through
coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected
by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
How long can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop
and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass
on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are
What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs
and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze
of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches
respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches
their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
How long can viruses live outside the body?
We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like
cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce
the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday
actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses
like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
• 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 often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home and limit contact
with others to keep from infecting them.
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Cover your
mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around
you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. 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.
What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water,
or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. We recommend that when you wash your hands
-- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water
are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands
until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills
the germs on your hands.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu/