Appointments and General Information: (860) 832-1925
Fax: (860) 832-2579Mailing Address: University Health Services Central Connecticut State University 1615 Stanley Street New Britain, CT 06050
To CCSU Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents
It is flu season! Even though the H1N1 pandemic of 2009/2010 is past; H1N1 and two other strains of influenza are spreading throughout the country and increasing in Connecticut. Flu season traditionally peaks during the spring semester and the weeks after winter break are usually the busiest of the year in college health centers. Last year students, staff, and faculty did an admirable job of preventing a serious outbreak of H1N1 by following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to prevent the spread of infection. As upper respiratory infections spread quickly among returning students, faculty, and staff, we must all reacquaint ourselves with these guidelines to prevent a serious outbreak of illness on campus.
Influenza of any strain is highly contagious and dangerous, but we know that 18-25 year olds were far more likely to develop serious complications from H1N1 than the usual seasonal flu. Influenza can keep you in bed for over 7 days; all the more reason to remind ourselves of how to avoid this illness.
· Stay home or go home if you have a flu-like illness
If you have a fever over 100° F or symptoms of fever (chills, night sweats) accompanied by cough, body aches, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, or vomiting you have a flu-like illness. Basically, think of it as a cold with a low-grade fever. Don’t go to class or work. Contact your primary care provider or University Health Services for advice or, if you are very ill, for an appointment. Please follow your usual absentee policies and contact your instructors or supervisors.
· Discuss absentee policies with your instructors
· Identify friends in each class who will get notes and other coursework for you if you become ill.
· Students living on campus should discuss with parents, other family, or friends, the possibility of being picked up in order to recover at home until better and fever free.
· Be smart about returning to class
Students can return to campus or classes when they feel well enough to do so and are fever free (temperature < 100° F) for least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). If no thermometer is available, there should be no signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed, or sweating) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
§ We urge all students to have available the following supplies:
o A simple electronic thermometer;
o Hand sanitizer;
o Disinfectant spray or wipes for use on shared workspaces such as desks in classrooms;
o Tissues; and
o Over-the counter symptom relieving medicines like ibuprofen or Tylenol (Remember that aspirin and products containing aspirin can be dangerous for those of you under 19 if you have the flu).
§ Practice good hand hygiene
o Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective and we encourage you to carry one with you.
§ Practice respiratory etiquette
o Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
o If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
§ Get a seasonal flu shot (this year it also protects against H1N1)
Shots are widely available this year through your primary care provider, most local pharmacies, or local Departments of Health. There is a tool on http://www.flu.gov/ that will help to find a local vaccine provider.
For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit www.flu.gov, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
Instructors, please make it easy for students to self-isolate
§ Please do not require medical excuse notes. Most people with a flu-like illness do not need to seek medical care and the requirement for notes adds an unnecessary burden to medical offices that will be busy seeing very sick patients.
§ Discuss these guidelines with your students at the beginning of the term making it clear that you want students to follow these guidelines closely so that we limit the spread of the flu.