Health Issues

Avian Influenza

To date, there have been no reported cases of avian influenza, or "bird flu," in humans in the United States, but the possibility of such an outbreak remains and continues to be the subject of many reports in the news media. This web site, which will be updated periodically or when events warrant, is intended to direct members of the Bowdoin community to the latest information about avian influenza, and to provide information about ongoing preparedness efforts at the College.

Bowdoin College has a detailed response plan in place to manage the anticipated issues associated with a local outbreak of epidemic disease, including avian influenza. This planning conforms with the most recent recommendations of the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the international World Health Organization (WHO), and is coordinated with parallel efforts by local, county, and state health and emergency response agencies. The key components of the plan include:

  • Preventative measures designed to protect the overall health and welfare of the campus community.
  • Phased decision-making guidance based upon real-time reporting at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels.
  • Providing continuity of services for the on-campus population for the duration of any emergency.
  • Recovery and returning to normal operations as soon as feasible.

General Flu Prevention Advice

As with all communicable diseases, good hygiene and avoidance of risk are the best preventative measures.

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with antibacterial soap and hot water. When clean washroom facilities are unavailable, use antibacterial gel and disposable towels.
  • Cover any coughing or sneezing, either with a disposable tissue or by turning into your elbow; do NOT use your hand to cover your mouth, as this is a common form of transmission to another surface or person.
  • Travel wisely, specifically avoiding locations where outbreaks have been reported, and public transportation in general.
  • Receive your regular, seasonal influenza vaccinations.
  • Watch for flu-like symptoms, and report them to your health care provider immediately. If you are already ill, stay at home or in your residence hall to avoid exposing others.

More Information

Please contact Bowdoin Health Services at x3236 with questions specific to the campus community.

In addition, the following links provide the most detailed and up-to-date public information: