H1N1: Developing a Personal Flu and Recovery Plan
We urge all members of the campus community to develop a personal flu treatment and recovery plan and be ready to implement that plan. If at all possible, the plan should include a way for you to leave and remain off campus until cleared for return by an appropriate medical professional. You likely will want to identify a family member or friend who can help you if you fall ill.
For dorm students, at this point we do not foresee requiring you leave your room; however, we encourage you to agree with a friend or neighbor to check on each other or to alert Student Life if you are missing from class for more than a day. As noted below, it is important to seek quick medical attention if you fall ill with flu-like symptoms.
If the experts are correct, many people will contract H1N1 during the next few months. The experts advise that if you develop flu-like symptoms, seek treatment immediately — don't wait. The best results typically occur when treatment can start as soon as possible. If you develop breathing problems or a high temperature, you may want to seek emergency treatment. For students who are new to the area and/or who may not have a primary care doctor in the area, we have listed information about urgent-care clinics at the end of this letter. The normal protocol at this type of clinic is that you show up – without an appointment – and wait for your name to be called, based on the time you arrived. Based on my personal experience, the waits are typically shorter first thing in the morning and about an hour before closing.
Your plan also should include information about local urgent care clinics and hospitals (see PDF list), in case you fall ill on a night or weekend. Information about local hospitals also appears at the end of this letter.
Please note that, pursuant to our new Transportation Policy (intranet login required), Student Life can assist students who need transportation to seek medical assistance.
You are encouraged to obtain several face masks and disposable gloves that you can use if needed. If you don't have one, we also encourage you to purchase a thermometer so you can more easily determine whether you have a fever.
Talk with your health-care provider about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. We plan to offer vaccinations on both campuses in October. Dates will be announced shortly (and will include October 7 during the Health and Wellness Fair), but we have been informed that the vaccines will not be available until at least October 1. If you are at higher risk for flu complications from the 2009 H1N1 flu, you might consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.
Finally, educate yourself about the symptoms of the flu and ways to prevent – and prevent the spread of – the disease.