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09/01/2009

9/1/09: Faculty and Staff H1N1 Flu Guidance Information

Introduction

The information outlined below is based on the interim Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education in response to the H1N1 Flu.

The CDC recommendations are based on current information and are subject to change based on ongoing surveillance and risk assessment. The University of the Sciences Pandemic Preparedness Team monitors reports, works with area organizations and has established points of contact with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Division of Disease Control (PDPHDDC). 

The information provided by the CDC and the PDPHDDC provides interim guidance to institutions on suggested means to reduce the spread of the H1N1 virus on campus. The recommendations are based on the recognition of sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, which has spread across the United States, and information that suggests most cases of illness from this virus are similar in severity to seasonal influenza. A key difference however is the increased frequency of H1N1 infections in children and young adults versus the seasonal flu.

Take Precautions

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Eat right and get plenty of rest and exercise
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze; preferably by coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or a single use disposable tissue
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Use a alcohol-based hand cleaners
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the spread of germs
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • Those with flu-like illness (fever, cough, sneezing, chills, aches, sometimes diarrhea or vomiting) should stay away from classes/work and limit interactions with other people (called “self-isolation”), except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. They should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu
  • Consider getting a flu shot and the H1N1 vaccination when it becomes available

What to Do If You Experience Influenza-like Illness

  • STAY HOME and limit interactions with other people (called “self-isolation”), except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. It is possible that people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. Students should stay away from others during this period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are at a high risk of severe illness from the flu due to chronic health conditions or an otherwise compromised immune response system, or if you experience difficulty breathing
  • Contact your primary healthcare provider and let them know that you are experiencing an Influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sneezing, chills, aches, sometimes diarrhea or vomiting)
  • Contact your supervisor and the Human Resources Office at 215-596-8930 as they are prepared to assist you during your absence

 

How to Deal With A Student With An Influenza-like Illness

  • Faculty and staff must instruct any student with influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sneezing, chills, aches, sometimes diarrhea or vomiting) to:
      • leave the classroom/office;
      • call or go to the Student Heath Services Office (SHAC) at 215-596-8980 

 

  • A representative from the Student Heath Services office will instruct the student to limit interactions with other people (called “self-isolation”), except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. It is possible that people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. Students should stay away from others during this period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
  • Faculty and staff referring students to Student Health Services will be responsible for informing Student Health Services at 215-596-8980 of the incident so the necessary notifications/contacts can be made
  • Student Heath Services and the Division of Student Affairs will work directly with any students and their families to assist in getting the proper care medical attention for the ill students

Note: Deans and/or Department Chairs and experiential program directors will coordinate efforts with the University’s Chief Security Officer; Bernard Gollotti, to communicate with and support students completing rotations off campus and address requirements or actions that rotation sites may initiate that may affect a student’s ability to complete their experiential training requirements

 

How to Deal With An Employee With An Influenza-like Illness

  • Supervisors must instruct any employee with influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sneezing, chills, aches, sometimes diarrhea or vomiting) to:
      • leave the classroom/office;
      • go home;
      • contact Human Resource Office at 215-596-8930

 

  • Supervisors should remind the employee that they are to limit interactions with other people (called “self-isolation”), except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. It is possible that people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. Employees should stay away from others during this period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
  • Supervisors sending an employee home will be responsible for informing the Human Resource Office at 215-596-8930 of the incident so the necessary notifications/contact can be made
  • A representative from Human Resource Office will contact the individual exhibiting signs of H1N1 Flu infection or influenza-like illness and recommend that they contact their primary health care provider to report the illness if they have a health condition that places them at a high risk of severe illness from the flu
  • The Human Resources Office and individual departments will work directly with ill employees regarding the University Sick Leave Policy

For additional information, the University of the Sciences Pandemic Preparedness Team recommends that you visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov, or the University’s Emergency Information Website at  http://www.emergency.usp.edu.

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