H1N1 Guidelines Update
We know that seasonal flu season is approaching, and there is an additional concern this year regarding H1N1 or swine flu. It is very important that we reduce the spread of influenza by following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. The influenza viruses spread from contaminated persons to others by hand contact and also in respiratory droplets, especially with coughing and sneezing.
Students, faculty, and staff should know flu like symptoms may include: fever, sore throat, headache, chills, cough, body aches, muscle aches, sneezing. Call your health care provider or UTC University Health Services (follow this link) http://www.utc.edu/Administration/UniversityHealthServices/ for instructions if you become ill or have questions. Universith Health Services phone number is 778-9303.
There are measures you can take to prevent getting the flu. The CDC suggests you:
- Get a flu vaccine as soon as they become available.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. You may also use alcohol-based hand cleaners, if soap and water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice other good health habits – get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious food.
If you have flu-like symptoms, it is critical that you take the following steps:
- Contact your healthcare provider or University Health Services for instructions.
- Stay at home or in your campus apartment or hotel room away from others as much as possible in order to limit the spread of the virus. Do not attend any public or school gatherings.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Do not cover coughs and sneezes with your bare hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or use a tissue.
- Throw away any used tissue and do not use handkerchiefs.
- Use a mask or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you must leave your home or dorm room.
- Do not return to work or school until you have NOT had a fever for at least 24 hours without the help of Tylenol, ibuprofen or any other fever reducing medication. A fever is a temperature above 100F.
Students who will miss class due to illness should notify their professors of their absence. The Dean of Students Office can assist students with notifying professors if class absences will be long term or if assistance is needed in working with professors. Contact the Dean of Students at 425-4761.
The Center for Disease Control is closely monitoring the situation and UTC is working with the local health department to ensure the most current information is available to the University community. If the virus progresses to the point where additional measures must be taken, campus administration working in conjunction with local and state health officials, will notify the campus community at that time.
Your good health positively affects all that you do. I encourage you to follow the CDC suggestions for prevention of swine flu. If you have any question regarding the current guidelines, you may contact University Health Services at 778-9303.
Reliable sources of information on the flu outbreak include:
- Hamilton County Health Department information hotline: (423) 209-8393
- Hamilton County Health Department website: http://health.hamiltontn.org/swineflu.aspx
- Tennessee Department of Health website: http://health.state.tn.us/swineflu.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/
- CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year: http://www.flu.gov/plan/school/higheredguidance.html