H1N1 Flu Update #6

October 14, 2009
Update #6

As part of the Crisis Committee’s effort to keep you informed on the latest developments and information, here is another H1N1 Flu Update.  In Issue #6 you will find information on the following areas:

  • National Recognition for Vaccination Efforts
  • Prevention Efforts
  • Update on Alternative Temporary Housing for Students
  • Importance of Notifying HR when Employees are Ill
  • Recent Media Coverage

We encourage you to check the University’s emergency preparedness site at http://www.creighton.edu/emergencypreparedness/ or call the H1N1 Campus Information Line at 280-1800 for frequent updates.

Tanya Winegard
Crisis Response Planning Committee Chair

Creighton Nationally Recognized for its Mandatory Vaccination Efforts

Creighton University is among the first eight institutions nationally to be recognized for “stellar” examples of vaccination mandates in a health care setting.  The Honor Roll for Patient Safety list was posted online this week by the Immunization Action Coalition, a private nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., and supported in large part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  To be included in the honor roll, an organization must require influenza vaccination for health care employees and include serious measures to prevent transmission of influenza from unvaccinated workers to patients.  This recognition also received national, regional and local media attention with a front-page story in the Omaha World-Herald.  Details on these required vaccination actions are available at http://www.creighton.edu/emergencypreparedness/h1n1/updates/20091006/index.php

The Key is Prevention

Self-Isolation: Self-isolation is a critical prevention measure and students as well as faculty are reminded that if a health official have told individuals to self-isolate, it is critical that Creighton community members support those efforts.  Make arrangements to cover classes if an instructor is sick, work with students on testing accommodations, etc. Self-isolation has proven to be a successful deterrent for the flu.

Students Are Shooing the Flu: Close to 3,000 students have received the seasonal flu vaccination through the Student Health and Counseling Center.  Information and a complete schedule, including hours for clinic at the Skutt Student Center is available at http://www.creighton.edu/chc/healthservices/shoothefluatcu/index.php.

H1N1 Vaccination:  CDC has recommended the following five target groups receive this vaccination.

  • Pregnant women
  • Household and caregiver contacts of children younger than six months of age
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel
  • Persons from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have medical conditions associated with a higher risk of influenza implications.

The CDC states that once providers meet the demand for vaccine among persons in these initial target groups, vaccination for all persons 25 through 64 years of age.   Updates are provided frequently at the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/

Creighton has begun to vaccine target populations as well as our own health care and child care workers.

Call Human Resources When Employees are Ill  

As communicated in our guidance to leadership and supervisors at http://www.creighton.edu/emergencypreparedness/h1n1/guidance/index.php  it is important that supervisors call HR when an employee has been confirmed to have H1N1.  The faculty or staff member’s leader should contact CU Human Resources at 280-2913 for tracking purposes.  Currently, CDC guidelines state that it is generally acceptable to stay home for 24 hours after fever free (fever free without the use of fever reducing medication).  If symptoms become more severe or if a faculty or staff member is working in a health care environment, the exclusion period should be continued for 7 days from symptom onset or until the resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer? 

Update on Alternative Temporary Housing for Students:

As Fall Break approaches and with many ill students choosing to recover from their illness at home, we are pleased to announce that the FitNest will resume normal hours of operation beginning on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009.

The University will continue to monitor the situation and if the need arises the FitNest may be converted again for use as temporary housing for ill students.