To the HLS Community:
As many of you know, The Harvard School of Dental Medicine and its Longwood Area clinic closed late Thursday (April 30) after health officials identified a probable case of H1N1 influenza in a dental student. As of late this afternoon, there were reports of possible additional cases.
As a precautionary measure, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health cancelled classes for today (Friday, May 1) and have taken some additional measures to reduce the possibility of transmission.
Harvard officials are closely monitoring the situation. The emergency management team has previously developed plans and procedures to address any potential disease outbreak in the University community.
Here at the Law School, there have been no reports of anyone experiencing symptoms of H1N1 influenza (body aches, fever, severe malaise, chills, and in some cases, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea)
Nevertheless, we are urging members of the HLS community to avoid complacency, and to be vigilant in taking preventive measures. We strongly urge everyone to wash his or her hands frequently and use sanitizers such as Purell, It’s also recommended that you use antibacterial wipes in private workspaces (especially on light switches, phones, doorknobs).
In addition to frequent hand-washing and hand-sanitizing, HUHS advises that you:
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough. Use and dispose of tissues; or, cough/sneeze into the crook in your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should immediately contact Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) or his or her own physician. To contact the 24-hour urgent care clinic in the Holyoke Center, call (617) 495-5711.
HUHS has posted answers to frequently asked questions about H1N1 flu on its website:
In addition, the Harvard School of Public Health has created a page (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hcphp/announcements/information-on-swine-influenza.html) with useful links to numerous government case-tracking sites for gathering information about the outbreak as it evolves.
If the need arises, we will take whatever precautions are necessary to protect the health of our students, staff and faculty. If normal School operations are impacted, you will be notified immediately. In the meantime, we will continue to update you as necessary.
Francis X. McCrossan
Dean for Administration
Harvard Law School