H1N1 Flu Update #2

September 3, 2009

Update #2

Prevention of and preparing for a possible H1N1 incident on campus has been an important activity on our campus. As national headlines are highlighting outbreaks at several colleges and universities, the University Crisis Committee has been busy, and we wanted to update you on this progress in a number of areas.

Prevention is a key word when it comes to the H1N1 virus.  Whether you are a student, faculty or staff member here are a few things the CDC and the University Crisis Committee want you to remember if you think you may have the flu:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of flu. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Sick individuals should stay at home or in their residence, except to visit their health care provider’s office.

Guidance for Faculty, Staff and Administrators:
A question and answer document has been developed, based on CDC guidance, that provides workforce guidelines and general information on the H1N1 issue.  It answers many of key questions employees might have.

Shoo the Flu:
Each year Health Services in the Center Health and Counseling provides free seasonal flu vaccines to full time students. Find out more about this effort by checking out the following link http://www.creighton.edu/chc/.

Future updates will have information on vaccination activities for the seasonal flu for students, faculty and staff, as well as our plans for the H1N1 vaccine distribution.

Sheltering on Campus:
The safety and wellbeing of our students who are away from their homes is an important consideration. Following CDC guidelines, the University’s sheltering plan provides a location for students that are ill who cannot leave campus and do not have a suite-style room or apartment to recover from their illness.

Because of the concern of the spread of the virus in residence halls with community bathroom facilities, ill students living in Deglman Hall, Kiewit Hall, and Gallagher Hall will be assigned to temporary alternative housing where they can stay until 24 hours after they are free of fever.

Our planning efforts have determined that the sheltering location should have good access to bathrooms, security services, meals and health services support. Internet access is also an important criterion allowing students to continue their class work when feeling better but still in isolation.  After reviewing options, the FitNest in the Harper Center for Student Life and Learning will serve as the University’s sheltering location for students should it be necessary.

We will continue to keep you informed on the latest developments and information. You may also check the University’s emergency preparedness site frequently at http://www.creighton.edu/emergencypreparedness/.

Tanya Winegard
Crisis Response Planning Committee Chair