H1N1 Influenza (Flu; Swine Flu)

Information for Students | Information for Faculty & Staff | Information for Parents | Vaccination Information

GENERAL FLU FAQ

For links to current, credible sources of information about H1N1 influenza, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2009 H1N1 flu website at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.

What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu in people?

The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever or chills plus cough or sore throat. Symptoms may also include body aches, headache, fatigue, runny nose, diarrhea or vomiting.

What are signs that I need to seek emergency medical care?

If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care right away: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; or a high fever that is not responding to Tylenol (acetaminophen).

How can I prevent the flu?

The best ways to reduce your chances of getting the flu are to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid close contact with those who are ill.

What should I do if I think I have the flu?

If you have symptoms of the flu, you should make an appointment with the AU Medical Clinic (334-844-4416) or consult your personal physician. If you are diagnosed with the flu by a medical provider other than the AU Medical Clinic, it is very important that you or your doctor contact the medical clinic's flu reporting hotline at 334-844-1706. This will help Auburn University monitor the impact of the flu on campus and be proactive with our decision making.

Is it safe to take aspirin to reduce fever and body aches?

DO NOT use aspirin to treat fever.  Medical research indicates that use of aspirin to treat viral illnesses may lead to Reye's Syndrome, a very serious disease.  Use other fever-reducing medicines to treat fever and aches, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).  Always consult your doctor if you are unsure what medication is safe to use.

Will the university suspend classes or close campus as a result of this flu outbreak?

Auburn University is monitoring this situation closely, and is in regular contact with public health and medical professionals. We will rely heavily on the recommendations of these professionals in making critical decisions about campus operations. Given the current prevalence and severity of the flu, one of the main factors in evaluating the decision to suspend classes will be attendance and its impact on the university's ability to fulfill its academic mission. Contingency plans are being reviewed and revised in case the severity and/or prevalence of the flu increases.

Where can I find information about campus events and operations?

Please visit the Auburn Web page at www.auburn.edu for up-to-date information on the status of campus activities

What precautions are being taken at the Auburn University Medical Clinic to segregate patients with possible H1N1 flu, and prevent the spread of illness?

Since the middle of September 2009, the AU Medical Clinic has seen a decline in the number of cases of flu and thus is no longer screening and segregating patients with influenza-like illness.  As all patients enter and exit the building, hands-free hand sanitizer stations are available for them to use.  When patients are seen, if their symptoms so indicate, a nasal flu test swab is collected.  Additional testing may be done for other illnesses depending on their symptoms and the results of the nasal swab. 

If a student is diagnosed with flu, additional questions are asked regarding their living arrangements (e.g. whether they live on or off campus, have roommates, live close enough to campus to return home for the duration of their illness).  If their family lives within a reasonable distance from campus, then they are asked to consider going home for the duration of their illness.  If they can neither go home nor self-isolate, then Housing & Residence Life is contacted to make arrangements for temporarily relocating the student to housing at Extension.  Housing & Residence Life makes arrangements for keys and transportation (as needed), and provides an explanation of items that they need to take to Extension and how to arrange for meals.  Should the student need a prescription filled, they either go to the pharmacy located in the clinic or one in the community.

Women's Health and Student Counseling Services clients proceed directly to the second floor without stopping at the front reception desk, and have their own separate waiting areas, staff, exam/meeting rooms, and clinicians on the second floor.

The clinic has also put into place stringent cleaning with Cavercide of beepers after each use, counter surfaces, door knobs, elevator buttons, chairs, handles and exam rooms.

VACCINATION INFORMATION

For more information on the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, please visit the CDC website.

When will vaccinations be available, and should I get one?

According to the CDC, one of the best ways to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. This year, two different flu vaccines are expected to be available, one for seasonal flu and one for H1N1 flu.

Seasonal flu

Several seasonal flu vaccination clinics were held in September.  Currently, seasonal flu vaccine is in limited supply in the Auburn area.  Those interested in seasonal flu vaccination should contact local pharmacies for availability.  Additional clinics may be held on campus once additional supply is available.

While this vaccine is not expected to protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health state that the usual seasonal influenza viruses are still expected to cause illness this fall and winter. Individuals are encouraged to get their seasonal flu vaccine early. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, a single seasonal flu vaccination is expected to provide protection against seasonal flu for the duration of the flu season (through spring 2010).

H1N1 flu

Vaccine for H1N1 flu is currently in production, and is beginning to be distributed in Alabama.  The Auburn University Medical Clinic has placed a request for over 30,000 doses of vaccine for our campus community.  Distribution is being handled by the state and local health departments, so exact quantities and timing of delivery are uncertain at this time.  As of October 9, the AU Medical Clinic has received approximately 4,500 doses of H1N1 nasal mist vaccine, which will be provided at vaccination clinics starting on Thursday, October 15.  Details regarding clinic schedules and locations will be provided on our main flu webpage, by email to our campus community via Auburn Daily and This Week @ AU, and will be publicized via other means where possible.

The CDC is currently recommending that the following groups receive the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine when it first becomes available: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, people age 6 months through 24 years, and people age 25 through 64 years who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications from influenza.

Will there be any cost for the H1N1 vaccine?

Auburn University will be providing H1N1 flu vaccination clinics at no cost to students, employees and their dependents.  Those interested in being vaccinated should bring a list of their medications with them to a scheduled flu clinic, to make sure they are a good candidate for the vaccine that is available.

I think I had the H1N1 (swine) flu already.  Should I get the vaccine?

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, if you have already had 2009 H1N1 influenza which has been confirmed by PCR laboratory analysis (not by a rapid test), you are presumed to be immune and do not need to have the vaccine.  However, it will be your choice whether or not to get the vaccine because the latest research indicates the vaccine will not be harmful.

Who should get the nasal spray (live attenuated) influenza vaccine?

The nasal spray vaccine is approved for people from 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant and do not have certain health conditions.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people ages 2 to 24 years of age be among the first to get the vaccine, as this age group has been the most affected by the disease.   Note that Auburn University will only administer the vaccine to people from age 10 to age 49.  Please review the CDC's vaccine information statement for more information on the benefits, risks and contraindications of the nasal spray H1N1 flu vaccine.

Who should NOT receive the nasal spray (live attenuated) influenza vaccine?

According to the CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health, pregnant women, persons with weakened immune systems, and those with chronic disease such as cancer, obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma or diabetes should NOT get the nasal spray vaccine.  These individuals may be candidates for the injectable vaccine when it becomes available.   Please review the CDC's vaccine information statement for more information on the benefits, risks and contraindications of the nasal spray H1N1 flu vaccine.

Will injectable vaccine be available at Auburn University?

The AU Medical Clinic placed a request for both injectable and nasal spray vaccine the first week of October, as soon as the state's online vaccine ordering system was activated.  Auburn University has begun receiving nasal spray vaccine, but as of October 14 has not received any injectable vaccine.  Distribution is being handled by the state and local health departments, so exact quantities and timing of delivery are uncertain at this time.  Details regarding injectable vaccine availability will be provided on our main flu webpage, by email to our campus community via Auburn Daily and This Week @ AU, and will be publicized via other means where possible.  Please review the CDC's vaccine information statement for more information on the benefits, risks and contraindications of the injectable H1N1 flu vaccine.

Will the H1N1 vaccine be available to employees who do not work on the Auburn University main campus?

The Auburn University Crisis Management Team is currently working on methods to make the H1N1 flu vaccine available to the entire Auburn University family, including employees who do not work on the main campus.  Sufficient vaccine was requested through the Alabama Department of Public Health to provide vaccinations for all students and employees.  Distribution of vaccine is being handled by the state and local health departments, so exact quantities and timing of delivery are uncertain.  Auburn Montgomery has also requested vaccine and is administering it locally to their students and employees.  Additional information on how vaccine will be made available to off-campus employees will be publicized soon.

INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS

I've been diagnosed by a doctor with the flu.  What should I do?

On-Campus Residents

First, contact your resident director or manager and let he or she know that you've been diagnosed with flu.

If you live within a reasonable driving distance from campus and it's possible to do so, return home via private vehicle and stay for the duration of your illness. This will allow for a more comfortable recovery and minimize other students' exposure to the virus.

If you cannot return home, your resident director or manager will make other arrangements for you during your illness to minimize exposure to others in your residence hall. The university is currently offering temporary housing at Extension for on-campus residents who are ill and need to be separated from others. This housing consists of two bedroom, one bathroom apartments furnished with necessary furniture. If you are ill and are temporarily assigned to this housing facility, you will need to bring your own bed and bath linens and any other essentials. Note that shower curtains and toilet paper are provided, and internet and cable service are available. Additionally, Tiger Dining is providing delivered meals for those who do not have a friend or family member to provide these.

Follow directions of your medical provider. If you have underlying medical conditions that may put you at increased risk of complications from the flu, make sure you have discussed those with your medical provider.

Self-isolate by staying away from classes and work, and limiting interactions with other people, 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.

Advise your professors of your illness, so that you can make arrangements for make-up work and exams as appropriate.

Students Residing Off-Campus

If you didn't visit the AU Medical Clinic, please contact their flu reporting hotline at 334-844-1706 to report your illness. This will help Auburn University monitor the impact of the flu on campus and be proactive with our decision making.

If your permanent residence is within a reasonable driving distance from campus and it's possible to do so, consider returning home, via private vehicle, for the duration of your illness, especially if you have roommates in the Auburn area that are still well. This will allow for a more comfortable recovery and minimize other students' exposure to the virus.

Follow directions of your medical provider. If you have underlying medical conditions that may put you at increased risk of complications from the flu, make sure you have discussed those with your medical provider.

Self-isolate by staying away from classes and work, and limiting interactions with other people, 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.

Advise your professors of your illness, so that you can make arrangements for make-up work and exams as appropriate.

My roommate is sick and I'm concerned that I might get sick as well. What should I do?

If you live on campus and your roommate has been diagnosed with the flu, please ask him or her to immediately contact the resident director or manager. If possible, your roommate should return home to his or her family via a private vehicle for the duration of his or her illness. If this is not possible, your resident director or resident manager will work with your roommate to relocate him or her to temporary housing to minimize other students' exposure to the virus. You should also make sure to frequently clean regularly used areas and items such as restrooms, door knobs, and telephones.

If you live off campus and your roommate has the flu, encourage him or her to return to their permanent residence via private vehicle for the duration of the illness, if it is feasible to do so. If not, encourage him or her to self-isolate by staying away from others in the residence as much as possible. Make sure to clean shared items such as restrooms, telephones and doorknobs frequently. Visit CDC's website for cleaning recommendations (www.cdc.gov/h1n1).

Are medical excuses required if I've had to miss class due to the flu?

Existing class absence policies as outlined in section 10.5.1 of the Tiger Cub (http://www.auburn.edu/tigercub/files/section6_2008.pdf) are being followed at this time. As stated in the Tiger Cub, requiring medical excuses is generally at the discretion of the individual professor. Make sure to advise your professors of your illness to ensure you are meeting course requirements for class absences and to make arrangements for make-up work and exams as appropriate.

INFORMATION FOR FACULTY & STAFF

I've been diagnosed by a doctor with the flu.  What should I do?

Follow directions of your medical provider. If you have underlying medical conditions that may put you at increased risk of complications from the flu, make sure you have discussed those with your medical provider.

Self-isolate by staying away from work and limiting interactions with other people, 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.

Advise your supervisor of your illness and your anticipated date of return to work. Keep your supervisor updated if your situation changes.

What is the university doing to minimize the spread of the flu on campus?

Auburn University has been strongly promoting hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as recommended by CDC, since April 2009 when the H1N1 flu began to emerge in the United States. We have done so with placement of hand sanitizer stations in strategic locations across campus, including athletic venues and common gathering areas. We have also distributed several thousand 'wellness kits' to students containing hand sanitizer, tissues and tips for staying healthy and preventing the flu. Flyers are posted throughout campus buildings reminding our campus community to frequently wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and minimize contact with others who are sick with the flu.

Starting in April 2009, we have modified our routine cleaning procedures to include more frequent disinfection of common areas and items such as restrooms, doorknobs, and public telephones. The virucide used for cleaning is registered and approved for Type A influenza disinfection by the EPA.

Additionally, we are now offering temporary housing for on-campus residents who are ill and need to be separated from others.

Will the university suspend classes or close campus as a result of this flu outbreak?

Auburn University is monitoring this situation closely, and is in regular contact with public health and medical professionals. We will rely heavily on the recommendations of these professionals in making critical decisions about campus operations. Given the current prevalence and severity of the flu, one of the main factors in evaluating the decision to suspend classes will be attendance and its impact on the university's ability to fulfill its academic mission. Contingency plans are being reviewed and revised in case the severity and/or prevalence of the flu increases.

If I have a family member at home who is sick with novel H1N1 flu, should I go to work?

According to CDC guidance, employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with novel H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. You should monitor your health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. If you become ill, you should notify your supervisor and stay home. If you have an underlying medical condition or are pregnant, you should contact your health care provider for advice, because you might need to receive influenza anti-viral drugs to prevent illness. For more information, please see CDC's General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/workplace.htm.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

What is the university doing to minimize the spread of the flu on campus?

Auburn University has been strongly promoting hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as recommended by CDC, since April 2009 when the H1N1 flu began to emerge in the United States.  We have done so with placement of hand sanitizer stations in strategic locations across campus, including athletic venues and common gathering areas.  We have also distributed several thousand ‘wellness kits' to students containing hand sanitizer, tissues and tips for staying healthy and preventing the flu.  Flyers are posted throughout campus buildings reminding our campus community to frequently wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and minimize contact with others who are sick with the flu.  We have also been communicating regularly with our campus community about the need to stay home if ill.

Starting in April 2009, we have modified our routine cleaning procedures to include more frequent disinfection of common areas and items such as restrooms, doorknobs, and public telephones.

Additionally, we are now offering temporary housing for on-campus residents who are ill and need to be separated from others.  See below for more details on these accommodations.

What accommodations are being provided for on-campus students who are diagnosed with the flu?

Temporary housing is available at Extension for on-campus residents who are ill and need to be separated from others.  This housing consists of two bedroom, one bathroom apartments located on the west side of campus.  The units are furnished with necessary furnishings, but students who are temporarily reassigned to these units will need to bring their own bed and bath linens and any other essentials.  A shower curtain and toilet paper are provided, and cable television and internet service are also available.  Additionally, Tiger Dining is providing delivered meals for those who do not have a friend or family member to provide these.

On-campus residents who are ill and need to utilize temporary housing should notify their resident director or resident manager, who will make the necessary arrangements.  Students will be monitored during their stay to ensure their basic needs are met.  Additional security patrols are also monitoring the area while students are housed there.

 

Last Updated: Sept. 29, 2010

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