H1N1 Influenza: Questions & Answers
If you are a NDSU student or parent and have questions about H1N1 influenza, please call the Student Health Service at 701-231-7331.
If you are faculty or staff and have questions, please contact your provider or call the ND Influenza Hotline at 866.207.2880. The Hotline will operate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Will Student Health Service have the appropriate flu vaccines?
The NDSU Student Health Service maintains a robust vaccination and flu monitoring program each year and this year will be no exception. The Student Health Service follows CDC protocols for seasonal and H1N1 vaccination. It is anticipated that when an H1N1 vaccine becomes available, the Student Health Service will offer it to students. NOTE: The H1N1 vaccine will be available to students only. Faculty and staff should watch for notices from the local media on the availability of the H1N1 vaccine.
Priority groups for Novel H1N1 vaccination include:
- All people from 6 months to 24 years of age
- Persons aged 25 through 64 years of age who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age
- Pregnant women
Where do I go to get vaccinated for H1N1?
Student Health Service will offer vaccination for H1N1 to NDSU students when the vaccine becomes available. Faculty and staff should watch for notices from the local media on the availability of the H1N1 vaccine. Information about upcoming vaccination clinics in the community is available online at http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/Health/InfluenzaH1N1/
If I’ve already been ill with H1N1, do I still need to get vaccinated, or have I developed immunity?
Many people have experienced influenza-like illness, but it is not necessarily known if they actually contracted H1N1. Unless you were tested by a physician who confirmed an H1N1 diagnosis, it’s possible you could have been ill with a different strain of influenza. To be safe, you should consider getting vaccinated for H1N1 when the vaccine becomes available for your priority level.
How is NDSU preparing for H1N1 influenza?
- NDSU has a Crisis Management Response Team (CMRT) in place to review what is happening nationally and internationally and to discuss contingency plans.
- NDSU is working collaboratively with local public health officials, health care systems and institutions of higher education (MSUM, Concordia) to address issues from a community perspective.
- NDSU Student Health Service is prepared to evaluate and treat students as necessary who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI).
How widespread is H1N1 (swine) flu?
The Novel H1N1 pandemic is widespread throughout the world. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that there are at least a million cases in the United States. There has been one reported death in North Dakota.
What are the symptoms of Novel H1N1 (swine) flu?
The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and may include: fever of > 100º F (37.8º C), cough, sore throat, muscle aches, congestion, and headache. In some cases, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have also been reported. H1N1 flu is transmitted through respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing).
How can I stay informed?
The CDC web site @ www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu is also a valuable source of information.
What is NDSU doing?
NDSU's Crisis Management Response Team (CMRT) is working closely with Fargo Cass Public Health and the North Dakota Department of Health, with direction from CDC, to monitor the situation and follow established H1N1 protocols.
Studies show that 73% of flu can be prevented by practicing these 5 key habits:
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze into your sleeve
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean your hands with soap and water, if available, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid close contact with others (stay 6 feet away, when possible)
- Stay home when you are sick
NDSU Student Health Service and local medical providers have developed guidelines for evaluation and treatment of influenza-like-illness (ILI) based on CDC and North Dakota Department of Health recommendations. (The North Dakota Department of Health is not currently recommending that providers test patients with ILI symptoms for H1N1 unless they are hospitalized). For more information please contact Student Health Service, or your provider, or call the ND Influenza Hotline at 866.207.2880.
What should I do if I have flu like symptoms?
Those who have influenza-like-illness (ILI) should self-isolate (i.e. stay away from others) in their residence hall room, apartment or home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines except to get medical care or for other necessities. Stay away from others as much as possible to prevent others from becoming sick.
Consult a health care provider if you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, heart or lung problems, a weakened immune system, or if you are pregnant. Students with ILI are asked to call Student Health Service first before seeking care to determine the appropriate course of action. The medical team will assess each student and make the appropriate medical decisions. If you are faculty or staff and have questions, please contact your provider or call the ND Influenza Hotline at 866.207.2880.
Seek emergency medical care if you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough
Is there a threat to students living in group settings?
College students spend a great deal of their time in group classrooms, social and living environments. Because residence halls and other group settings have a greater population density, there is greater opportunity for a virus to spread. For this reason, we continue to stress that everyone must be diligent about preventive practices.
Students who live in group settings who become ill should remain in their rooms and receive care from a single person, if possible. Ill students should limit their contact with others and, to the extent possible, maintain a distance of 6 feet from people with whom they share living space. Shared bathrooms should be avoided or receive frequent cleaning. If close contact can't be avoided, the ill student should wear a surgical mask during periods of contact. Guidance for care of influenza patients in their home can also be applied to residence halls. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm
Should I wear a mask?
The current situation does not warrant general use of masks, unless you are advised to do so by a health official.
Will NDSU close if H1N1 cases on campus are confirmed?
The University will make a closure decision based on consultation with county and state health officials and after a thorough assessment of the threat to the campus community. CDC is not recommending school closures at this time.
What Can Employees Do to Reduce the Spread of H1N1 Flu in the Workplace?
From the CDC web site:
Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms of influenza-like illness, stay home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever or signs of a fever (100 F [37.8C]) without the use of fever-reducing medications. Call first before seeking care to determine the appropriate course of action. Students may call Student Health Service at 231-7331. Employees may contact their health care providers.
Following these recommendations will help keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus.
- Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with influenza-like-illness (ILI) can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, notify their supervisor and stay home if they become ill. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness.
- 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 hand sanitizers can be used if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. If an employee suspects that they have been exposed to a sick person with ILI, he or she may continue to go to work as usual.
Employees are also encouraged to help maintain a healthy work environment by periodically wiping down with a disinfectant or disinfectant wipes any public surfaces - counters, telephones, etc. - that regularly come in contact with the general public.