2013 Flu Update

February 7, 2013 - Flu Update

 


Students

If you have been watching the news over the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly seen stories regarding cases of the flu throughout the country. Since college students, whether living in residence or off campus, are in close proximity to each other, we strongly recommend that each of you get a flu shot (influenza vaccine), if you haven’t already. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s vaccine is a particularly good match for the strain of flu for which many throughout the country are being treated. Flu shots are available through many physician offices and pharmacies.


Preventive practices to reduce the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses

In addition to the flu vaccine, we encourage all members of our University community to continue the preventive practices recommended by public health officials, such as those listed below, to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill and stay at home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and dispose of the tissue immediately in the trash.  If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your shoulder or elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.


What you should do if you experience flu-like symptoms

Resident students who experience flu-like symptoms this spring semester should contact Student Health Services. Commuting students should contact their personal healthcare provider. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. As per CDC guidelines, students and others with flu-like symptoms should stay or return home, take care of themselves and not return to campus for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. As is the case with any illness related absence, students are responsible for notifying their professors in order to arrange for completion of their academic requirements.


Common health remedies you should have on hand

We recommend that you keep on hand common health remedies that can be taken to relieve fever, sore throat, ear ache, headache, and vomiting, among other conditions students typically deal with each year. A student health/first aid kit should include pain relievers/fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, thermometer, favorite cough and cold remedies, band-aides, antibiotic ointment, ice/hot pack, and medications for upset stomach or diarrhea. Of course, Student Health Services also has these available should you run out of a particular item. 

Please feel free to contact Student Health Services at (609) 896-5060 or the Dean of Students office at (609) 896-5101.  You might also check out information available on the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/flu or at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Web site at www.nj.gov/health

 

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Faculty/Staff

As you undoubtedly know, flu is on the rise throughout the country. We encourage all members of our University community to get a flu shot (influenza vaccine), if you haven’t already. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s vaccine is a particularly good match for the strain of flu for which many throughout the country are being treated. Flu shots are available through many physician offices and pharmacies. 


Preventive practices to reduce the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses

In addition to the flu vaccine, we encourage everyone to continue the preventive practices recommended by public health officials, such as those listed below, to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill and stay at home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and dispose of the tissue immediately in the trash.  If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your shoulder or elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.


What you should do if you experience flu-like symptoms

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. As per CDC guidelines, anyone with flu-like symptoms should stay or return home, take care of themselves and not return to campus for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.


What you can do now to prepare for a potential flu outbreak

There are several things we can all do in preparation for a potential flu outbreak on either or both of our campuses:

Faculty

  • Engage your department in discussions regarding course coverage should several members of your department become ill at the same time. 

  • Consider how you will communicate with your students should you be out ill for a period of time or should larger numbers of your students become ill. 

  • Consider electronic tools (i.e. Blackboard, email list serves) you might use to help you continue instruction if you or large numbers of your students become ill.  The Teaching and Learning Center and OIT will offer several workshops for faculty early in the semester to help in this regard.  Further information will be sent via email.

  • Consider which policies, if any, might inadvertently encourage ill students to attend classes sooner than they should.  Determine options you might offer students to help them keep up with their coursework while still recovering at home.

Staff

  • Engage your department in discussions regarding work coverage should several members of your department become ill at the same time. 

  • Consider how you will communicate with the rest of your department should you be out ill for a period of time.

Any questions?

Please feel free to contact Human Resources at ext. 5140 with employee questions and the Dean of Students office at ext. 5101 with any student related questions.  You might also check out information available on the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/flu or at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Web site at www.nj.gov/health.

 

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