H1N1 Message for Staff

You’ve all seen the signs reminding you to wash your hands and cover coughs/sneezing to avoid picking up or transmitting the virus. The H1N1 flu is upon us and the seasonal flu isn’t far behind. So, here are some FAQs from the Center for Disease Control (www.flu.gov) you may find helpful:

What is the H1N1 flu?

This is a new strain of influenza A and originally was called the “swine flu,” but now is called the H1N1 flu.

How do you catch the H1N1 flu?

Like the seasonal flu, this flu is transmitted primarily through contact with another person who has the H1N1 flu – usually as a result of the coughing or sneezing of infected people. It also can be spread through touching things that have been contaminated by the touch, sneeze or cough of someone with the flu.

What are the symptoms of the H1N1 flu?

  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Cough; runny or stuffy nose; headache
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue; body aches
  • Any or all of the above

How can I prevent getting the H1N1 flu?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand cleaners frequently
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or your elbow
  • Don’t share food and drinks with others
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes with contaminated hands
  • Maintain a social distance from others – don’t shake hands or exchange kisses

Does the seasonal flu shot protect me from the H1N1 flu?

No, it does not. But it can still protect you from the seasonal flu so be sure to visit your own health care provider or one of the many flu shot clinics around the city (Kroger and Walgreens come to mind) to be vaccinated for seasonal flu. As you know from the media reports, the H1N1 vaccine is still being tested with the hope that it will become available to the public later this fall.

What should I do if I’m showing symptoms of the flu?

Stay home and call your supervisor to report your illness. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have fever without using fever-reducing drugs. But you also should use common sense and not return to campus with a sore throat, while still vomiting, or experiencing diarrhea or other symptoms related to the flu. Your supervisor understands the importance of your not coming to work ill and possibly spreading the virus to others. Be sure you contact your health care provider, get extra rest and drink lots of fluids; monitor your temperature and treat your fever.

What should I do if my spouse or child/ren have the flu?

Certainly, you should care for them while they need your assistance and return to work as soon as you can – as long as you are symptom-free. Be sure to contact your supervisor and stay in touch during your absence.

What is the University doing to protect us at work?

The University has been actively involved in:

  • Meeting regularly to discuss planning for the pandemic
  • Authorizing departments to purchase cleaning items such as disinfecting wipes (e.g. Clorox, Lysol) and alcohol-based hand cleaners for their areas and encouraging staff to periodically clean their phones, keyboards, door knobs, tools, etc
  • Installing hand cleaners in high traffic areas · Insuring that GCA and Sodexho employees have been trained on and utilize proper cleaning techniques
  • Developing departmental plans for those who are out ill or in the unlikely event that the University has to close temporarily due to widespread illness
  • Developing guidelines for students who have the flu to reduce the risk of further spread of the virus

If you have concerns or questions, please speak with your supervisor or you may contact Alice Kimble or Human Resources. We will continue to keep you updated on these health-related issues.

Be well!