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Framingham State raising flu awareness before students swarm back to campus

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 15, 2013 03:15 PM

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As Framingham State University gears up for the return of students from winter break next week, school officials are trying to prevent flu outbreaks on campus by raising awareness on the illness with students and staff.before they come back.

Officials have emailed students and staff over break, urging them to receive vaccinations and reassuring them that missed class time due to sickness will not be penalized, said Dan Magazu, university spokesman.

Campus leaders also told students and staff to stay away from campus if they are experiencing any symptoms, and to self-isolate if they are already back in Framingham and start to feel ill.

"Our focus right now is on prevention," Magazu said in an email. "If students become sick but cannot go home, we’ve advised them to self-isolate in their dorm room to avoid spreading the illness to others."

The university has also set up a system for notifying professors when a student is out sick for an extended period, so the professor can then make accommodations for the student.

Officials also sent the Framingham State community an email with tips on how to lower the risk of spreading and contracting the flu, such as washing their hands with warm water and soap, and covering their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing.

Magazu said although the university saw a few students showing flu-like symptoms at the end of the fall semester, none were confirmed cases that the university knows of.

"We began the school year with a supply of vaccinations, but no longer have any, so we are encouraging students to seek an alternative way to get the vaccine such as their primary care provider, local Board of Health, or local pharmacies," he said.

Students return to school on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Magazu said.

This fall, there were 4,576 undergraduates and 1,930 graduate students studying at Framingham State, with nearly 2,000 students living on campus, according to officials.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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