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Influenza A (H1N1) Update: What To Do If You Become Ill With The Flu

We have all heard that the H1N1 virus has the potential to infect a significant number in the U-M community this fall, and this will be on top of the seasonal flu. The University prepared throughout the summer to address what public health officials expect to be an increase in the number of cases this fall as students return to classes at U-M and across the country. While not more virulent than the seasonal flu, we might see significantly more cases of flu and more significant health effects for at-risk individuals than we are used to.

Under the most likely scenario, the term will continue as normal. Of course, university experts in influenza will continue to collaborate with local, state and federal health officials and be prepared to follow any new recommendations. There are some important things to keep in mind, however, should you become ill.

What To Do if You Become Ill With The Flu

Stay home when ill: That's the advice for students, faculty and staff who become ill with the flu. Symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat. Those who become ill with the flu should stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-lowering medication.

Student Flu Reporting
It is each student's responsibility to notify ALL instructors should you become ill.

To help with tracking illness rates as well as with follow-up with sick students if needed, the Office of the Provost has requested that academic advisors / student services offices collect the names of students reporting flu-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat) this season. Therefore, instructors are asked to send an e-mail or cc their response to students reporting illness to flu-taubmancollege@umich.edu.

Additional Steps For Students
 – Identify another student at the start of term who can take notes for you, should you become sick and miss class.
 – Students are responsible for:
    – Notifying ALL instructors should you become ill
    – Making up all the work in the class:
       – If you miss deadlines or exams because you are ill, you should be given penalty-free ways to make up work
       – It is your responsibility to work with your instructors in determining appropriate ways to make up work
 – Be aware that the Provost's office has indicated that current policies and procedures regarding dropping classes will NOT be changed
    – Contact your academic advisors for information on drop/add deadlines (dropping classes can have many unexpected effects and costs, and is not an automatic)
 – If you have concerns regarding your academic situation, you should contact your academic advisor
 – If you have other serious concerns or are in need of additional assistance, please contact Laura Brown in the Student Services department (laurajbr@umich.edu or 734-936-0221). Alternatively, you may also contact the Dean of Students office (734-764-7420).

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy (from the CDC website)

There are everyday actions people can take 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.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
 – Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
 – If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Practice good health habits
 – Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, manage your stress and eat nutritious foods.

Additional Tips from the WHO website

If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat
 – stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds;
 – rest and take plenty of fluids;
 – cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues, make sure you dispose of them carefully. Clean your hands immediately after with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
 – if you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook of your elbow;
 – use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets when you are around others, but be sure to do so correctly;
 – inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with other people; and
 – If possible, contact a health professional before traveling to a health facility to discuss whether a medical examination is necessary.

Helpful Links
H1N1 Flu Preparedness at U-M
U-M Pandemic Influenza Response Plan
FAQ on U-M Response to H1N1 flu
U-M Human Resources FAQ for Staff Members
H1N1 Flu Preventive Tips
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Swine Influenza Information
World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza A (H1N1) Information
U-M School of Public Health Swine Flu Information
U-M Health System Swine Flu Information
Google Map of Cases of H1N1 Virus at Higher Education Institutions

University of Michigan Messages
Staff preparations for influenza at U-M this fall (8/20/09)
Faculty preparations for influenza at U-M this fall (8/20/09)
Student preparations for influenza at U-M this fall (8/19/09)
Officials reinforce precautions for summertime flu (7/09/09)
Podcast: Tips to prevent the spread of flu (6/22/09)
University prepares as flu becomes a worldwide pandemic (6/12/09)
U-M will again allow university-sponsored travel to Mexico (5/18/09)
Update to Flu Guidelines for Travel (5/08/09)
Important update on U-M response to swine flu (4/30/09)
U-M responds to swine flu outbreak (4/29/09 news release)
U-M takes further steps related to swine flu outbreak (4/29/09)
An important message about swine flu (4/27/09)

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