Vol 9. Issue 15 / May 4, 2009

In Brief

Employee Health Alert: Swine Flu

There have been recent media reports regarding swine flu in San Diego and elsewhere. Scripps Research Environmental Health & Safety is following the breaking updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and county public health departments to stay current on the very latest recommendations and guidance for businesses, employees, and community members.

Here are some questions and answers you may find useful:

What are the symptoms of swine flu?

Symptoms of the swine flu (similar to those of the seasonal flu) include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and headache.

How do you catch swine flu?

Swine flu is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people or from environmental surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus.

What can I do to protect myself and others from getting sick?

There are simple actions that everyone can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause transmission of respiratory illnesses like influenza.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash immediately after it is used.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth to minimize spreading the infection.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol - based hand cleaners are also effective sanitizers.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. If you are sick, you should consult with your supervisor about staying at home and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?

Yes, CDC recommends the use of certain antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (i.e., within two days of first symptoms). Consult with your doctor if you are symptomatic. Please note: There is no vaccine available now to protect against the swine flu. For other forms of the flu, consult with your medical doctor to discuss if a flu vaccine is appropriate for you and other family members based on your individual circumstances.

What other resources can I use to stay informed?

For travel concerns, international, national, and local information, the following websites may be of interest:

  1. CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu
  2. WHO at http://www.who.int/topics/influenza/en/
  3. San Diego County at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov
  4. Palm Beach County at http://www.pbchd.com/

Scripps Research is monitoring the situation and coordinating with colleagues in the area. Environmental Health & Safety thanks you for your cooperation on this issue, and will keep you advised if the situation changes. Should you have any immediate health concerns, please consult with your local health care provider. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact EH&S on the Scripps California campus at (858) 784-8240, on the Scripps Florida campus at (561) 228-2041 or (561) 228-2042.

Library Tip: Protocol Guide and New iPhone Protocol Application

The Kresge Library staff knows that protocols are important to Scripps Research scientists, so they have a variety of resources to find methods and techniques. These resources are now compiled into a subject guide available from the library's webpage: http://www.scripps.edu/library/protocols.html.

The Kresge Library subscribes to three main protocol databases: Current Protocols, Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, and Springer Protocols (which contain the Methods in Molecular Biology series).

You will also find a list of handbooks, journals, and websites with a procedural/technique focus on the site. You can even download the Promega Protocols & Applications Guide to your iPhone or iPod Touch by going to the app store and search for "Promega." It's free and has step-by-step protocols, illustrations, link outs to Pubmed, and video animations.

If you have comments or questions, please contact the Kresge Library at helplib@scripps.edu.

Normal Blood Donor Service Pays Cash for Blood

The Scripps Research Normal Blood Donor Service (NBDS) is a tremendous success! To meet the anticipated demand for the rest of the year, it needs to expand the donor pool.

Donors are immediately compensated with a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $100 for a single draw, depending on the quantity of blood needed.

To qualify as a normal blood donor, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Be between 18 and 65 years of age
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds (50 kg)
  • Have blood pressure between 90-180 mm Hg systolic and 50-100 mm Hg diastolic
  • Not have undergone major surgery within the past six months
  • Score adequately on recent hemoglobin testing
  • Screen negative for HIV and hepatitis B and C, upon entry into the program and every year after that
  • Not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication on a daily basis

General information about the Scripps Research NBDS is available at http://www.scripps.edu/researchservices/nbd/. More detailed information, including forms for becoming a paid donor, is available at http://nbd.scripps.edu/. NBDS Coordinator Priscilla Crisler can be reached by telephone at (858) 652-5418, by fax at (858) 652-5556, or by email at corelab@scripps.edu.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu

Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu