H1N1 Flu Update #3

September 17, 2009

Update #3

Prevention of and preparing for a possible H1N1 incident on campus, continues to be an important activity on our campus.

Prevention remains 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 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the University Crisis Committee wants you to remember the following effective strategies:

  • Eating right and getting enough rest are important prevention actions everyone in our community can take.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a thermometer, a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and other related items might could be useful to have on hand and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

H1N1 on Campus:
At this time the Creighton University community has not experienced an H1N1 flu outbreak. Additionally, no clusters of individuals with H1N1 flu have occurred. If several students, faculty and/or staff members become ill with the H1N1 virus this information will be communicated to the campus community.

Shoo the Flu:
The first of several clinics for full-time students to receive the seasonal flu vaccine at no charge took place on Wednesday, Sept. 16. More than 800 students were vaccinated for the seasonal flu. This compares to about 1,100 students vaccinated last year. With additional clinics scheduled we encourage all full-time students to receive this seasonal vaccine.

Shoo the Flu at CU Clinics sponsored by the Center for Health and Counseling are scheduled every Wednesday during the month of September from 1 - 6 p.m. in Harper Center, room 2066. Shoo the Flu at CU Clinics are also scheduled for October through November in various campus locations. Find out more about this effort by checking out the following link http://www.creighton.edu/chc/.

The CDC is estimating that the H1N1 vaccine will be available in mid-October. More information will be communicated as it becomes available.

Faculty and Staff Seasonal Flu Vaccine:
Each year at the Creighton Benefits Fair, benefit eligible employees have been offered the opportunity to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine will be offered on Oct. 12 at CUMC, Becic Room, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; and Oct. 13, Harper Center Ahmanson Ballroom, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. We would appreciate if main campus personnel try to attend the Harper Center event. We are also planning to offer free of charge the seasonal flu vaccine at other dates and times. Please watch for updates.

Mandatory Vaccinations:
In light of the recommendations from the (CDC) and with overwhelming evidence that influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing transmission of the influenza virus and its potentially severe complications, the President’s Cabinet has accepted the Crisis Committee’s recommendation that all University health care and child care employees and students placed in clinical health care settings are required to be vaccinated for seasonal and H1N1 influenza at University cost by December 1, 2009. Specific guidance on how this will be accomplished is being communicated to affected students, faculty and staff.

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