MOUNT VERNON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that a 45-year-old male Mount Vernon Nazarene University staff member has tested positive for novel influenza A(H1N1) virus.
This individual is recovering under physician care and will remain in quarantine per recommendations made by the Knox County Health Department.
Jackie Fletcher, director of the division of Family and Community Health Services at the Knox County Health Department, said there is no cause for alarm. “It’s just one isolated case,” she continued. “Even folks in his immediate family have shown no symptoms.
“We spoke to the Naz yesterday, and they are actually sending a letter out to students to let them know there was a confirmed case of H1N1 with an employee who works at MVNU. The individual was actually at the commencement exercises last Saturday and the letter is to let students know to be vigilant if they come down with any signs or symptoms of the flu.”
“When we met with community leaders earlier this month, we mentioned that many of the upcoming large events in our area would increase the possibility of a confirmed case in Knox County,” said Health Commissioner Dennis Murray.
“At public gathering events that are celebratory in nature such as weddings and graduation ceremonies, there’s personal contact such as handshaking and hugging. Also, because of the nature of the events, people are a lot closer to one another, physically,” explained Murray. “As a result, there is an increased risk for spread of this new flu among the attendees and subsequent spread of illness in the community or in communities to
where attendees return.”
University President Dan Martin confirmed on the MVNU Web site, www.mvnu.ed, that the university is working in collaboration with the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and Knox County Health Department, and is following all appropriate guidelines. Facilities Services has been made aware of the situation, he continued, and its staff is taking extra precautions in sanitizing facilities. They are utilizing a cleaning solution that is known by the CDC to kill the virus and are taking extra care with items such as door knobs, computers, desks and restrooms.
Students, faculty and staff are urged to follow infection control measures which include frequent handwashing and cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.