H1N1 Policy at MNU
In response to this public health threat, MNU will be implementing the following policy guidelines, consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment). All policy is subject to change, pending revised recommendations issued by these health organizations.
Prevention of H1N1
MNU is taking the following precautions to reduce the risk of H1N1 from being spread to our campus.
- Standard precautions for preventing the spread of illness are disseminated and discussed.
- Hand sanitizers have been placed in each building.
- Maintenance and custodial crews will continue to diligently clean common areas.
- Pioneer Foods will continue to take proactive measures regarding health and sanitation.
- Residence Assistants have disposable thermometers and information sheets.
- An effort will be made to isolate ill students from the general student population.
- Students are encouraged to identify a location off campus for convalescence in the event that they become ill.
- Students with chronic health conditions are encouraged to protect themselves from exposure to infection, including staying temporarily off campus, in the event that an outbreak occurs at the university.
Actions you can take to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get a seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 when available.
Influenza-Like Illness (ILI)
There is currently no commercial test available to confirm the diagnosis of H1N1. Therefore, diagnosis of ILI is based on the same symptom criteria used by emergency departments, ambulatory care clinics, and university health centers, as defined below:
- Temperature greater than 100.0 or greater AND cough or sore throat.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Note: Current guidelines for prescription antiviral medications are based on CDC recommendations for ‘high risk’ individuals and will guide our response to individuals presenting with ILI.
Response to ILI
A student who develops these symptoms will be educated in self-care and advised to take the following steps:
- Visit a private health provider for assessment.
- Residential students: inform your RA and allow your RE to be the point of notification to faculty regarding student absence if ILI symptoms are present.
- Residential students: notify RA/RE for assistance with food and other needs. Remain in your room or if local go home for a few days.
- Commuter students: remain at home.
- Do not attend class until your fever has remained normal (98.6) for 24 hours, without the assistance of medication (e.g. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cold medicine). Take your temperature at least five times throughout a 24 hour period to verify normal temperature.
- Notify parents and make every effort to convalesce off campus.
It is recommended that students receive vaccination for seasonal influenza. Future availability of H1N1 vaccine is uncertain.
H1N1 Flu: Questions and Answers
What is H1N1 flu?
H1N1 influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.
How is this Swine flu different?
This strain appears to be a subtype not seen before in humans or pigs. Unlike most cases of swine flu, this one can spread from person to person.
Can you catch swine flu from eating pork?
No. Pigs coming into slaughter facilities are monitored for flu symptoms, and those that are ill are not allowed to enter the food supply. Cooking also kills the virus. However, people who work with pigs can catch the virus.
Is there a vaccine against swine flu?
No, but government scientists could try to create one, and if they decided to do so they could do so quite quickly. CDC scientists don’t know if this year’s flu vaccine will offer any protection.
Can antivirals prevent swine flu?
This strain of swine flu does appear sensitive to the antiviral drugs Releza and Tamiflu. With normal seasonal flus, if taken within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear, antivirals can help people recover a day or two sooner. Doctors sometimes prescribe antivirals to household members of people with the flu to help prevent them from getting sick.
What are symptoms?
The most common symptoms are fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing, although some people also develop runny nose, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea.
How can people protect themselves?
First and most important: wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also very effective. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay informed.
When to seek medical care
If one develops flu symptoms he/she should stay home as soon as symptoms appear, and contact a health care provider. The provider will be able to tell if you should come in for flu testing. If you develop severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, high fever, confusion or dizziness, severe vomiting, worsening of previous flu symptoms, or chest or abdominal pain, you should not wait to contact your doctor but seek emergency medical care.