Merced Community College
Student Help Desk

Dear Students:

As many of you know, a pandemic has been declared for swine flu.  While no confirmed cases have been identified in Merced County or surrounding areas, we want to provide you with information that will help protect your health.  As we receive new information, we will provide it to you.

This particular strain of swine flu is spread from person-to-person contact.  You can’t get this from pigs or from eating pork.   If you haven’t been to Mexico recently or been in contact with someone who has, you likely won’t get swine flu.  Not every symptom of illness you have is indicative of swine flu.  You may have a sore throat or cough, but unless you’ve been exposed, it is likely something other than swine flu.

That being said, we still need to be alert and cautious.

You should know that our College Health and Safety staff, along with our Critical Incident Response Team, has been meeting with Merced County Public Health officials.  We have been in discussions with our own Chancellor’s Office for updates.  We continue to monitor the situation both locally and statewide. 

For up-to-date information, I would refer you to the county Public Health website:

See also this fact sheet:

If you suspect that you have swine flu, or if you know of someone with the symptoms (fever greater than 100 degrees, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and body aches, fatigue), go home and contact your health care provider.  Do not go to Public Health prior to seeing your own physician.  Do not use our Student Health Center.  Merced College will not collect specimens for testing. 

There are many of us suffering from seasonal allergies and some of us have had recent bouts of bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.  Not everyone who coughs or has a sore throat is a likely candidate for swine flu.  If you haven’t traveled to Mexico recently or haven’t come in contact with someone who has, swine flu is not likely.  While we need to take all necessary precautions, we shouldn’t panic or live in fear.  Good health practices will go a long way to keep you safe and sound.  Wash your hands with an alcohol-based cleaner.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  Avoid close contact with sick people.  Stay home if you are feeling ill.  Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.  Throw away used tissues immediately.  These are prudent measures to take at any time.

We’ll be purchasing alcohol-based hand sanitizers and will be placing them in various locations around campus, both here and in Los Banos.  Please  be on the lookout for them.

Again, it’s important to take the common sense health precautions listed above.  We’ll continue to keep you apprised of any new information that we receive



STUDENT HELP DESK, Merced Community College, 3600 M Street, Merced CA 95348
(209) 381-6565 • • located at Lesher 110
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