California State University, Fullerton

Health Notice | H1N1 Flu

It is possible that this current flu season will continue into the spring. Current influenza cases can either be the seasonal flu or the H1N1 strain.  Cal State Fullerton, like many other universities across the United States, has experienced many cases of H1N1 Influenza.  University officials will continue to monitor the situation. The university has developed a Pandemic Plan and individual departments are encouraged to have a plan that coordinates with the university plan. There are issues and concerns that are relevant to all departments and the information provided at this site may have answers to your concerns regarding flu-like illnesses in the classroom and workplace.

The following information is from the World Health Organization (WH0) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


THE CURRENT SITUATION

Previously referred to as swine flu, the name being used to describe the current outbreak is the H1N1 flu. The strain is called H1N1 to avoid public fears that is spread through pork products. Properly cooked pork does not infect people with the H1N1 flu, which is now spreading from human to human contact (through coughing or sneezing of infected people). H1N1 flu is reaching pandemic levels, but its severity level in the U.S. remains moderate.

The World Health Organization’s Pandemic Alert is Phase 6 on a 6 point scale and relates the widespread nature of the disease rather than the severity. The WHO and the Centers for Disease Control are focusing on “heightened surveillance, early detection, treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.” For more information about WHO’s pandemic scale, visit http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html


THE UNIVERSITY'S RESPONSE TO THE H1N1 PANDEMIC

The university is closely monitoring the situation, and following guidance from Orange County Health Care Agency in close contact with the CDC and WHO. The University has established a team, with members from various University divisions, to monitor and advise the University community and respond as directed by Public Health.

At this time in the United States, cases of the flu are responding well to the same treatment normally used for the regular seasonal flu. To stop the spread of the H1N1 flu, we are encouraging University staff, faculty and students to follow these simple but effective health precautions:  

Stay informed. Use the CDC, WHO and Orange County Web sites as sources of accurate information:

Take everyday actions to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.  The University is not planning or expecting any closures at this time. We will follow the advice given by the health department. The University has a closure procedure which would be followed if we were advised to do so. If you are sick, we urge you to stay home. For important advice on home care, see this CDC Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance_homecare.htm

Develop individual and family emergency plansas a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.

Know the signs and symptoms of H1N1
The symptoms of H1N1 flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Has Cal State Fullerton made any changes to its regular operations?
Currently, there are no changes to university operations or activities as a result of the pandemic.

How do I keep up to date with the situation on campus?
The campus home page has a link to the latest H1N1 information. Go to http://www.fullerton.edu/H1N1.html

How would Cal State Fullerton decide whether to cancel events or classes?
In a public health emergency, it is the responsibility of the county public health departments to issue quarantine orders, direct closures of facilities, designate key healthcare facilities, and distribute anti-viral medications. The university would follow the directions of Orange County Public Health.

Will Fullerton provide flu shots?
The university is hoping to offer vaccinations on campus during the fall semester. You will be notified when we have more information.

I think I may have the flu. What should I do?
If you have mild flu symptoms, you are urged to stay home or in your dorm room to avoid making others sick. You should remain at home or in your dorm room, except to get medical care or for other necessities, until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. Additional advice about how to avoid spreading the flu is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you have severe symptoms, or if you are at high risk for complications from the flu, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. (People at high risk for flu complications include those with such conditions as diabetes, asthma and obesity). Your health care provider will decide whether flu testing or treatment is needed.

  • Students may call their personal health care provider or the Student Health Center at (657) 278-2800.
  • Faculty and staff should call their personal health care providers.
  • In an emergency, call 911.

Can the university require that I go home or stay home if I am not feeling well?
Employees should not come to work sick, and students should not come to class sick. Managers have the responsibility to keep employees healthy and safe.; You may be sent home if you come to work sick. Supervisors should consult Human Resources if they have concerns about an employee's health. Likewise, faculty have the responsibility to keep their classes healthy and have the responsibility to send home students to avoid infection of the entire class.

What are the symptoms of H1N1?
Symptoms are similar to those of the seasonal flu: fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Contact your health care provider if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include but are not limited to:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Consult your doctor if you are not able to treat your illness effectively at home.

A co-worker, student, or classmate, went home sick with possible H1N1 flu. What should I do?
You should respond the same way that you would if your classmate or co-worker had an ordinary flu bug. No special precautions or actions are recommended at this time for healthy people who have been exposed to the H1N1 virus. You should come to work or go to class as usual. The latest advice for protecting yourself, your family and your community from the H1N1 flu is available at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm.

Is CSUF prepared for a pandemic?
Yes. Fullerton has a comprehensive emergency management program and regularly plans and practices to mitigate and respond to emergencies. For a number of years, Fullerton has been actively preparing for the potential of a pandemic and has plans and procedures in place to ensure an effective response.

Campus administrators are closely monitoring the pandemic to best protect the campus. Representatives from the Student Health Center and Emergency Management are in close contact with the Orange County Health Department and county emergency officials and participate in regular briefings.

What about travel?
Since H1N1 is now global, we urge any current or prospective traveler to read in its entirety the advice of the CDC for travelers. This advice may be found at: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/.

How should I prepare for my trip?
Travelers from the United States going to countries with a large number of reported cases are at risk of contracting the disease. Persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, and heart disease are recommended to take antiviral medications for prevention of H1N1 influenza during travel. The recommended antiviral drugs for H1N1 influenza are Tamiflu® and Relenza®. Talk to your doctor about correct indications for using influenza antiviral medications. For more information about what to do if you become sick while you are traveling outside the United States, visit http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentSurvivalGuide.aspx.

Where should I seek medical care while traveling?
Always seek medical care if you are severely ill. Do not travel while you are sick, except to get local medical care. If you need to find local care, a U.S. consular officer can help you locate medical services and will inform your family or friends in the United States of your illness. To contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country where you are or will be visiting, call the Overseas Citizens Services at:

  • 1-888-407-4747 if calling from the U.S. or Canada,
  • 00 1 202-501-4444 if calling from overseas, or
  • Find your local U.S. Embassy at http://www.usembassy.gov/.

What should I do after my return from an area that has reported cases of H1N1 flu?

  • Closely monitor your health for 7 days.
  • If you become ill with fever and other symptoms of H1N1 flu like cough and sore throat and possibly vomiting and diarrhea during this period, call your doctor or clinic for an appointment right away. Your doctor may test you for influenza and decide whether influenza antiviral treatment is indicated.
  • When you make the appointment, tell the doctor the following:
    • Your symptoms,
    • Where you traveled, and
    • If you have had close contact with a person infected with H1N1 flu.
  • Avoid leaving your home while sick except to get local medical care, or as instructed by your doctor. Do not go to work or school while you are ill.
  • Wear a surgical mask if you are in contact with other people

 

Related Story: Swine Flu - What Is the Danger?

 

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