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Letter on H1N1 to the SIUE Campus Community


To faculty, staff and students:

I would like to inform you of some of the measures being taken by SIUE to address concerns about H1N1 flu (also known as swine flu).

  • A web site devoted to H1N1 issues has been established. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding how you can learn more about H1N1 and related university procedures has been developed.
  • Departments have been identified that are essential to the continuing operations of the University during a crisis. These departments have been required to prepare continuity of operations plans to ensure that they can provide vital services in a pandemic crisis.
  • A Pandemic Planning Committee has been established and is now meeting on a weekly basis to stay abreast of current H1N1 issues, to educate the campus community and to develop policies and procedures to respond to a possible pandemic situation.
  • The Emergency Management and Safety department and University Health Services remain in close contact with local, state and federal agencies and their recommendations regarding H1N1.
  • SIUE has an all hazard emergency plan that is up to date and includes a pandemic annex.
  • SIUE conducts emergency exercises on an annual basis to prepare for disaster situations.
  • The University has an emergency team that will operate in an emergency operations center in the event of a crisis situation. This team is compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Here are recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that you can use to help prevent the spread of H1N1:

  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
  • Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don't go to class or work.
  • Talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. Also if you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.

If flu cases become more widespread, SIUE may take additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus. For more information about the flu and what SIUE is doing, visit our website at www.siue.edu and click on H1N1. You may also check the websites www.flu.gov or www.ready.illinois.gov.

We will notify you by campus e-mail and update information on the H1N1 page as appropriate when new details about the flu become available.

Sincerely,

David McDonald
Director, Emergency Management and Safety
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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