BC new flu readiness site prepares students for winter

The Center for Disease Control recently stated through their website: “The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Two imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States. CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the further spread of Ebola within the United States.”

The website also contained Ebola outbreak updates and key tips to prevention. Similarly, Bellevue College is also taking action. The President of Bellevue College, David Rule sent an email last week to all Bellevue College officials containing information on Ebola preparedness and Flu prevention. The email included a link to Bellevue College health and public safety. Rule explained that the website is “dedicated to helping you all stay healthy and informed.” The page contains links for students faculty and employees, detailing how to sign up for email and text alerts. Like the CDC’s website it also has recent news and updates about Ebola and prevention guidelines for the Flu.

The Northwest Healthcare Response Network posted on their Web page that they “convened a special meeting of the Disaster Clinical Advisory Committee on Monday Oct. 20 to provide input on the clinical aspects and healthcare coordination for Ebola response in our region. Public Health Department representatives from King and Pierce Counties attended along with emergency managers from many hospitals.” Harborview Medical Center in Seattle has been prepared to accept patients infected with the disease since early October, however as of yet there have been no reports of patients being accepted.

Ebola is not the Northwest’s primary concern however, this winter  parts of Eastern Washington have already seen snowfall, but around the sound a warmer winter than typical is expected,  The average temperature of Bellevue WA is a low of 36 degrees Fahrenheit in the month of December.

Winter brings with it the flu, Bellevue College’s health website has a page on “How to stay Healthy,” with  with information from the CDC. One way to stay healthy is to “avoid close contact with those who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to prevent them from getting sick, too.”

For the flu, the CDC is encouraging people to get vaccinated; flu rates are expected to be high this season. According to the CDC: “The most recent FluView report for the 2014-2015 flu season shows that flu activity is low across the United States, but there are early signs that activity is increasing, including the first reported pediatric flu death this season. Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks.” Looking at the map of “A Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report Prepared by the Influenza Division,” Washington state has sporadic activity.

Nicole Wen, a student attending Bellevue College said that “In order to keep myself healthy, I am going to make sure I wash my hands, keep reasonably clothed and make sure I have had my flu shot.”

For more information, visit Bellevue College’s health and public safety website at www.bellevuecollege.edu/publicsafety/health. Another resource for information is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: www.cdc.gov or the Northwest Healthcare Response Network’s website: www.nwhrn.org.