Fears surrounding a resurgence of the highly contagious strain have emerged following a break in diagnostics since the peak of the pandemic in Autumn 2009.
Speaking with The University Observer, UCD’s Student Health Service is warning students to remain vigilant, particularly those students that may fall within certain high risk categories. Students are advised to carry tissues at all times and not to attend university should they display flu symptoms. Additionally, students in UCD Residences who suspect they may have swine flu are asked to make contact with Residential authorities straight away.
The H1NI virus affects mainly young people and, in the vast majority of cases, is easily treated with paracetamol and by drinking plenty of fluids. However certain high risk groups’ contraction of the virus will necessitate further treatment by a GP.
Symptoms of the H1N1 virus are similar to that of the common cold, including dry cough, sore throat, headache, running nose, severe weakness/fatigue aching muscles/joints, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Students’ Union Welfare Vice-President Scott Ahearn spoke to The University Observer about his experience of contracting the virus and offered his advice to students who expect they may have it: “I would encourage students to stay at home and seek medical attention. For students living on campus, obviously their doctor is in the Student Health Centre, obviously I wouldn’t advise they attend.”
Ahearn added: “If are you concerned about it you can get the swine flu jab in the Student Health Centre.”
Those people identified as being particularly susceptible to the virus include those with chronic heart, lung or liver diseases, those with immune system deficiencies, as well as those suffering from conditions such as asthma or diabetes. Pregnant women are also advised to seek the advice of a GP if they display flu symptoms, as the required treatment has to be assessed with regard to the trimester of the pregnancy as well as the severity of symptoms.
The Student Health Service has advised students to adhere to the University Flu Response Committee Guidelines, will continue to monitor the situation and issue updates to the student body if required.
For those who want further information can visit the UCD Student Health Service website (www.ucd.ie/stuhealth/).