The University of New Haven has developed plans for monitoring and responding to cases of seasonal influenza, a virus which is expected to have a significant impact on college campuses nationwide. The UNH Office of Health Services has developed the following information about the flu, ways to prevent the spread of the virus and what to do if you develop flu-like symptoms.
- How the Flu Virus is Spread
- The Flu is Highly Contagious
- Steps to Help Prevent the Flu
- Steps to Take Before Flu Season Begins
- Flu Symptoms / Flu Assessment Form
- What to do in case you have the flu
- Information for Students
- Students who have Flu Symptoms Should
- Information for Residential Students
- Information for Non-Residential Students
- Information for Faculty
- Information for Staff
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- For Additional Information
The main way that influenza viruses are spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes (this is called "droplet spread"). This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled (generally up to 3 feet) through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Though much less frequent, the viruses also can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth or nose (or someone else's mouth or nose) before washing their hands.
A person can spread the flu starting one day before he or she feels sick. Adults can continue to pass the flu virus to others for another three to seven days after symptoms start. Children can pass the virus for longer than seven days. Symptoms start one to four days after the virus enters the body. Some persons can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons can still spread the virus to others.
- One of the best ways to protect against seasonal flu is to get vaccinated.
- UNH Health Services is offering seasonal flu vaccine clinics. Please visit their website or look for campus e-mail announcements for information about when seasonal flu vaccines will be offered.
- Health officials also recommend that you wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after sneezing or coughing. Health officials recommend that you carry hand sanitizer with you at all times.
- The University has placed hand sanitizer dispensers in key locations throughout campus as well as in the lobbies of each of the residence halls.
- When you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands. Or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then promptly discard the tissue and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. People often get the flu when they touch something that has the virus on it and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean common contact surfaces (telephones, countertops, doorknobs, etc.) on a regular basis with a disinfectant.
- A moderate cardio workout is one of the most helpful ways to avoid illness. Exercise improves the immune system.
- Take a multi-vitamin daily.
- Eight hours of sleep a night can help reduce stress, boost the immune system and ward off illness.
- Don't smoke. Smoking reduces your immune system's ability to fight diseases.
Have the following items on hand in case you get sick and need to stay in your dorm room, apartment or home (most of these items are available in the campus C-Store):
- Working digital thermometer
- Fever reducing medication that contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Clear liquids (e.g. sports drinks, ginger-ale, chicken broth or bouillon), jello, ice-pops, etc.
- Saltines, Ritz-crackers, canned soup with noodles or rice, etc.
- Other items that may be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick
Seasonal influenza symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body aches or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, coughing, headache, tiredness, diarrhea or vomiting. If you think you have the flu, take a quick self-assessment.
- The CDC recommends that anyone with influenza-like illness remain in their residence hall room, off-campus apartment or at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever of 100° F (37.8° C) or higher without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Avoid all unnecessary contact with others until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
- Keep 6 feet of space between you and others to avoid the spread of germs.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen for aches and fever.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Take a cool shower to bring down the fever.
- Inhale warm steam for a cough.
- Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat.
- Drink hot water with lemon and honey to soothe a sore throat.
- If you develop a severe respiratory problem such as shortness of breath, vomiting and the inability to keep fluids down, or a change in mental status, contact UNH Health Services at 203-932-7079. If after 5 p.m. or on the weekend, contact Campus Police at 203-932-7014. A 24-hour nurse information line (administered by On Call International) also is available for students after hours. Please call 1-866-525-1955 to speak with a nurse 24/7. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.
Students who have flu symptoms should NOT go the UNH Health Services unless they fall into the following categories:
- Have a medical condition that puts them at increased risk of severe illness from flu (e.g. diabetes, heart-condition, asthma or other chronic illness). Develop severe flu-like symptoms such as sustained fever of 101° F or higher after taking fever-reducing medicine, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or rapid breathing. If one or more of these conditions exist when the Health Services Office is not open, go to the Urgent Care Center located at 109 Boston Post Road in Orange (203-298-4600), or nearest emergency room when the Urgent Care Center is closed.
- Click here for a PDF list of nearby hospitals and walk-in clinics.
- A 24-hour Nurse Information Hotline (administered by On Call International) is available for students after hours. Please call1-866-525-1955 to speak with a nurse. Students should follow up with Health Services during the next business day.
- Take a quick self-assessment to help you determine if you may have the flu.
- If the self-assessment indicates that you may have the flu, immediately report your illness online or call UNH Health Services at 203-932-7079.
- Do not go to classes and limit interactions with other people except to seek medical care (see section above), for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever of 100° F (37.8° C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. You should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
- It is the student's responsibility to notify their faculty members if he/she is ill and cannot attend class. E-mail is the preferred medium.
- Students who are able to, should keep up with the course work by communicating with their instructors via Blackboard and Tegrity. If an ill student is unable to fully keep up with the course work, email communication should be maintained in order to clarify with the instructor how the work may be made up.
- Faculty are expected to offer reasonable flexibility regarding required course attendance and assignment due dates in light of student illnesses. This includes provision for make-ups for missed exams (including finals) due to illness.
(includes students living in Forest Hills, Savin Court, Main Street and Regency apartments)
- If possible, residential students with flu-like illness who live relatively close to the campus should return to their home to keep from making others sick. Limit contact with others as much as possible. For example, travel by private car or taxi would be preferable over use of public transportation.
- Students who cannot easily travel home should remain in their room and receive care and meals from a single person.
- Health Services will maintain a log of students who have reported their illness online as well as those who are seen in the Health Services Office. Health Services or designated staff will check in with students on a daily basis to see how they are.
- Tamiflu will not be given to roommates of ill students. Exceptions to this policy are students with a documented history of asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
- Students should also establish a "flu buddy system" in which they pair up to care for each other if one or the other becomes ill. All "buddies" should avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with the individual who is ill.
- If close contact with others cannot be avoided, the ill student should wear a surgical mask during the period of contact. Examples of close contact include kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, or having any other contact between persons likely to result in exposure to respiratory droplets.
- Because not everyone ill with the seasonal flu will have a fever, it is important for everyone to wash their hands frequently and follow good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette so they don't unknowingly infect others.
- If you have to be around others, stay as far away from them as you can. A minimum distance of six feet is recommended.
(Includes Graduate, Commuter, Part-Time and the College Lifelong & eLearning students)
Please follow the guidelines above for students. In addition, the following guidelines apply specifically to those UNH students living off-campus in their own apartments or homes.
- Non-residential students with flu-like illness should not attend classes and limit interactions with other people except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever of 100° F (37.8° C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. You should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
- Non-residential students who are married, have children or are responsible for the care of others should make advance plans to care for these individuals either if they become ill or if the members of their household become ill.
Some of these guidelines may be inconsistent with regular institutional practice but are necessary in light of the risk of the spread of infections, the need to contain that spread as much as possible, while giving faculty the widest latitude in completing the delivery of course material and students the best opportunities to fulfill their course requirements.
- It is the student's responsibility to notify the faculty member if he/she is sick and cannot attend class. Email is the preferred medium.
- Students who contract the flu will be advised to stay in their dorm room or return home to recuperate.
- Students who have the flu who do not go home will be isolated in their residence hall rooms.
- UNH Health Services will not be able to provide written verification of illness for most students.
- Faculty will receive an email notifying them that a student has reported they are ill
- If a student is absent for two consecutive class meetings without having contacted the instructor, the instructor should contact the student by email to inquire the reason for absence.
- Faculty should provide instructions for ill students to keep up with the course work, or to facilitate making up the missed material by use of Blackboard and Tegrity.
- Faculty should be flexible regarding required course attendance and assignment due dates in light of student illnesses. Make-ups for missed exams (including finals) due to illness should be provided.
- Faculty who fall ill should immediately report their illness to the Dept. Chair who will determine, in light of the circumstances, whether the faculty member can continue leading the course from home or whatever other action may be decided (see below). If the Chair falls ill, the Dean's Office becomes responsible.
- Ill faculty are expected to remain at home.
- If able to continue leading the course while ill, the faculty member can do so using technology such as Blackboard and Tegrity.
- If unable to continue leading the course while ill, the faculty member should make materials available to a possible substitute via Blackboard/Tegrity.
- Reminder to adjunct faculty of the expectation to complete grading for students after the end of the term who take Incompletes (INC) due to illness.
- If you feel sick with flu-like symptoms stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever of 100° F (37.8° C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. You should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
- If you get sick at work, go home as soon as possible. If this is not possible, separate yourself from others.
- If you feel sick or are at higher risk of complications from the flu, contact your health care provider by phone. Do not go the UNH Health services.
- Get vaccinated for seasonal flu. UNH will provide a series of flu clinics on campus; the vaccinations will be on a first come, first serve basis and small cost for the vaccine will be charged. For information about upcoming flu vaccine clinics, visit the Health Services website.
- If you are high risk for complications of the flu, get vaccinated by your health care provider. People at higher risk for flu complications include, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.
- Promote prevention by washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, wiping down commonly used surfaces with an alcohol or disinfectant wipe, and covering coughs with the inside of your elbow and not your hands.
- We have an Emergency Protocol for Serious Illness in our Emergency Response Protocol handbook that can be found online under Emergency Response Protocol.
- If you supervise others and are concerned about one of your employees seek Human Resources guidance.
UNH Health Services - 203.932.7079
Campus Safety - 203.932.7070
Residential Life - 203.932.7076