H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Contingency Planning

H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Contingency Planning

By Harry McDermott, Executive Director for Campus Health
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To: UA Students
From: Harry McDermott, MD, MPH, Executive Director
for Campus Health
Subject: H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Contingency Planning
Date: September 17, 2009

In support of making your UA experience a healthy one this year, we need your assistance in addressing the pandemic flu that has arrived on the UA campus already this fall semester. We have been seeing cases of flu since the first week of the semester and are expecting the number of cases to rise in the coming weeks.

A pandemic flu vaccine will likely be available later in the fall (October or November), but for at least the beginning if not most of the pandemic flu outbreak we will be relying on people who become ill with the flu to stay home to help reduce the spread of this virus.

As part of this effort, I would ask that UA students who develop symptoms of the flu (fever over 100.0, cough, body aches, sore throat) stay on home or room based isolation until they have no fever (without the use of fever reducing medication) for 24 hours. This type of action will reduce the chances that students will spread the flu to others on campus or where they live. The Centers for Disease Control recommends this length of social distancing for those ill with the flu to reduce the spread of this virus.

For those students living on campus or in a Greek chapter house who come down with the flu, plans for caring for those students and their roommates have been developed in collaboration with Residence Life staff and fraternity and sorority advisors and House Directors.

Academic departments will also be asked to accommodate students who need to be out of classes due to influenza and to help them stay connected and up-to-date on their course work through phone, internet and email communications. If students become ill with the flu, it will be their responsibility to initiate and maintain communications with their instructors.

The UA has been working on a pandemic response plan for three years now, with each department creating contingency plans for responding to a pandemic outbreak in the campus and Tucson communities. If we all work together, we will have a better chance of reducing the impact of the H1N1 flu pandemic on those learning, living and working in the UA community.
Thank you very much for your attention to this information and your willingness to consider and act upon these infection control

Important flu information

The best ways to avoid coming down with the flu include:

* Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

* Keeping your immune system healthy: get plenty of rest, engage in physical activity, manage your stress, drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods.

If you become ill with flu symptoms, which are fever (over 100.0), cough, body aches, sore throat, (and some times runny nose or vomiting and diarrhea - see www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm):

* If you live in a residence hall, notify the Community Resident Assistant or front office, or if you live in a sorority or fraternity, notify the House Director or Greek Health Advocate and isolate yourself
in your room.

* Maintain a distance of six feet from your roommate(s) if possible.

* Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve and wear a surgical mask when your roommate is in the room.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

* Call the Campus Health Service (please call before coming in) if you have:

  • a fever of 102.5 or higher or you run a lower fever (fever is being defined as a body temperature of 100.0 or greater) for more than three days
  • a severe cough, shortness of breath and/or chest pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • a severe headache or you feel you need to be seen at the clinic.

The phone number for the Campus Health Triage Nurse is 621-6493 or the After Hours On Call Provider at 570-7898.


UA Campus Health Service
(Go to the Hot Topics section or the flu link near the top of the home page.)

Pima County Health Department

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm (Recommendations if you come down with flu.)

UA Campus Emergency Response Team
Pandemic Plan:

Residence Life

UA Dean of Students Office

Arizona Department of Health Services

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