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Information about the 2009 H1N1 Flu

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This Web site is designed to answer all your questions about East Carolina University's proactive response to the 2009 H1N1 flu Virus. If you have any questions, please contact:

Student Health Service
Division of Academic and Student Affairs
East Carolina University 252.328.6841

Student Resources

Get Well Buddy

2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) – Don’t Panic!
If in the coming months, you develop a fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, chills, and feel fatigued and maybe even have diarrhea or vomiting, then you may have the 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) or the regular seasonal flu. But don’t panic!

Even if you have the 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu), most healthy people who get this flu strain recover on their own in three or four days, just like with the regular seasonal flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is not recommending 2009 H1N1 testing or dispensing Tamiflu unless the illness becomes severe or you have an underlying medical condition. Also, doctors may provide masks to their sick patients, but these provide little or no protection to wearers who are not sick.

Illness with the new 2009 H1N1 flu virus has ranged from mild to severe – just like what occurs with regular seasonal flu. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment or hospitalizations, deaths from infection with this virus have occurred, mostly among those who have underlying conditions that make them more susceptible (high risk) to flu complications. These underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy.

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. If you have mild to moderate flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. It may take up to seven days for you to feel like yourself again.

If you are not ill, what can you do to protect yourself? CDC recommends the following:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough in your sleeve, if you don’t have a tissue available.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective if soap and water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people and large crowded areas like concerts and nightclubs, football games and parties.
If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from spreading the virus.

Some other actions to take are:

  • Get the seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 vaccinations when they become available latter this fall.
Put together a “Flu Kit” containing the following over the counter items:
  • Non-Mercury thermometer
  • Sanitizing wipes (such as Clorox wipes) to clean high touch areas such as door knobs, refrigerator handles, kitchen utensils, tabletops, toilets, bathroom sink, etc.
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (such as Tylenol or Motrin)
  • Cough suppressant & decongestant or a multi-symptom flu relief product
  • Easy to prepare comfort foods (soups, pasta, etc.)
Become a “Flu Buddy”
A “Flu Buddy” takes notes and assignments from shared classes and provides them to their buddies who are out sick with the flu. They may also call them to make sure they are OK and even bring them their favorite nutritious meals while still maintaining social distance (3 to 6 feet) for their own protection. They may be willing to do the same should you get the flu.

Faculty should also consider:

  • How you will communicate with your students and how often you will communicate?
  • Including a general Continuity of Instruction statement in your syllabus or Blackboard course that explains how you will continue instruction if classes are suspended.
  • Having content readily available in Blackboard.
  • Determining teaching objectives for the time period.
Bottom Line: If you don’t have the flu, follow the steps above to avoid it. If you do have the flu, stay home, except to see a doctor, to keep from spreading your flu to the rest of the Pirate Nation.

Getting through this flu season successfully will take personal responsibility and everyone working together.

Bill Koch
Associate Vice Chancellor,
Environmental Health & Campus Safety