University of Missouri

49-­­­34: A Resolution to Address the Public Health Threat Posed by the H1N1 Virus

Missouri Students Association

University of Missouri – Columbia

Bill #49-­­­34

A Resolution to Address the Public Health Threat Posed by the H1N1 Virus

PURPOSE: To encourage students and campus community members to seek reliable information regarding H1N1 and the corresponding vaccine, provide information regarding opportunities to obtain the vaccine and other preventative measures, and to commit to help in Student Health Center efforts on the issue.

WHEREAS, H1N1 (also known as swine flu) is an influenza virus that first appeared in April 2009 and became a pandemic by June 2009, prompting extensive public health efforts to contain the virus, and

WHEREAS, this virus can cause “fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue”, with some individuals experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, and

WHEREAS, while many who have contracted H1N1 have suffered from relatively mild symptoms, this illness can worsen, requiring hospitalization; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anywhere from 7,880 to 16,460 people had died due to H1N1-related causes between April and mid-December 2009, and

WHEREAS, in contrast to the regular seasonal flu, the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in patients under age 65 (with a majority occurring between ages 18 and 64), and

WHEREAS, members of MSA met with Dr. Even and other concerned individuals in November and January about the virus’s severity and public health efforts on the MU campus specifically, as well as to discern areas of need, and

WHEREAS, while the number of H1N1 cases has decreased in recent weeks, Student Health Center officials do warn that the annual flu season normally lasts until late March or April and that H1N1 cases could pick up as students return to school, and

WHEREAS, there is now a vaccine available to help prevent individuals from contracting H1N1, and individuals under age 25 have been identified as a particularly at-risk priority population to be vaccinated by the CDC, and

WHEREAS, Student Health Center officials do encourage students to obtain the vaccine if they have not done so already,

WHEREAS, the Student Health Center has vaccinations available free of charge to MU students; students can make an appointment to get the vaccine or get it in conjunction with a regularly scheduled appointment at the SHC for other medical reasons; several flu shot clinics have also been planned on campus for convenience purposes, including January 29th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Stotler Lounge of Memorial Union North and February 2nd-3rd in Bingham room 127 from 5:30-8 pm (student ID required)

WHEREAS, the Student Health Center has a good deal of information available for students online at http://studenthealth.missouri.edu/H1N1_SwineFlu.htm#h1n1, with additional prevention measures suggested:

  1. “Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or turn your head into your sleeve)
  2. Throw the tissue into the trash after you use it.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you sneeze or cough.
  4. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizers to use when soap and water are not easily accessible.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs are spread this way.
  6. Do not share items such as drinks, food, cell phones, etc. “

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that we fully support the efforts of the Student Health Center on this important public health issue and encourage students, faculty, administration, and community members to look into the vaccine by going to reputable websites such ashttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/general.htm andhttp://studenthealth.missouri.edu/ to find out efforts on our own campus.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will support the work of the Student Health Center on this front by committing communications personnel to utilize social media and press relations to help spread reliable information, as well as ask volunteers to participate in a tabling event in front of the bookstore to give out fliers with vaccine clinic location information. The MSA Senate will remain in contact with the Student Health Center to ensure that the most up-to-date information is available and that efforts are effectively coordinated throughout the semester.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Shelton, MSA Senate Speaker

Jake Sloan, Budget Secretary

Lauren Towns, Operations Committee