Novel H1N1 Influenza FAQs
Please note that the recommendations below may change as the situation changes, so please be sure to check for the most up-to-date information at:
Frequently Asked Questions:
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Self isolate; stay home and rest until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication</li>
Stay hydrated with plenty of clear liquids and be sure to eat well
Monitor your temperature using a thermometer
Treat symptoms with acetaminophen/Tylenol or Ibuprofen (not aspirin or aspirin-containing medicines), throat lozenges, and decongestants. Follow the directions on the packages; and also continue to take your usual prescription medications. Follow all local public health advisories and any relevant health recommendations.
If exposure to others is necessary, wear a surgical mask to prevent the spread of the illness
Call the Dean of Students' Flu Reporting Voicemail Box at 773.508.2300, and leave your name, your Loyola ID number, and the date; this phone line is only to report that you have the flu, and it will not be regularly monitored
Call a healthcare provider or seek immediate care if you:
Have particular health risks, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc; visit
Are pregnant or care for small children
Think your symptoms are getting worse
Treatment with antiviral medication is usually recommended only for those at high risk of severe complications, and those with serious underlying conditions
You can also call "Dial a Nurse" at 773.508.8883 or your healthcare provider if you need advice, but remember that most flu cases in otherwise healthy patients can be managed without the help of a healthcare provider
Students spend much of their time in close quarters with each other, whether it's in the residence halls, classrooms, or a social/extracurricular event. This closeness can present a challenge when you are ill, or when you are dealing with someone who is ill, so it is very important to self isolate.
Just like most universities, Loyola has very little unoccupied housing on campus and does not have an in-patient infirmary for ill patients. Because we are located in a major metropolitan area, the Wellness Center can count on local hospitals when students need supervised 24-hour medical care. We continue to work with the Chicago Department of Public Health, using guidelines from the American College Health Association, and take a cue from the CDC, which has identified several options for self isolation that make sense for our campus situation and our students.</p>
<p>When you self isolate, you are giving yourself time to recover and you are helping reduce the spread of the flu. Current guidelines recommend self isolating until you are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication.
Students who are ill are asked to self isolate and stay in empty rooms designated for this purpose. In the event that the number of ill students on campus is greater than the number of rooms available, your ill roommate may be asked to self isolate and stay in their room.
The provost and deans at Loyola have asked all University faculty to be flexible in dealing with students who have H1N1.
Ill students should notify their instructors as soon as possible explaining the reason for their absence, and also call the Dean of Students' Flu Reporting Voicemail Box at 773.508.2300, and leave your name, your Loyola ID number, and the date; this phone line is only to report that you have the flu, and it will not be regularly monitored
Documentation of presumed H1N1 illness is not necessary. As you know, the CDC is recommending that those with flu symptoms stay home (away from classes), self-isolate, and wait to return until they are fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours
Ill students should not be penalized for missing classes or academic assignments, although such assignments (e.g., tests and papers) will need to be made up per agreements with individual professors
Symptoms of H1N1 and the regular seasonal flu are similar, and include sudden onset of fever, sore throat, cough, and body aches. Because testing is not currently recommended for most people, you may end up not knowing which type of flu you have. Healthcare providers will assume that the flu in the early fall is H1N1, and that you may have seasonal flu if it occurs later in the year because seasonal flu usually occurs in the late fall until spring.
Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu is transmitted through respiratory secretions (for example, coughing or sneezing). The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year. You can also reduce your risk of infection by washing your hands often. Use soap and warm water and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. You can boost your immune system by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and managing stress. The Wellness Center offers a variety of services to help students stay well. Keep your distance from others when you, or they, are sick. Stay home from work, class, and other activities to help prevent spreading your illness to others.
The Wellness Center will continue to offer H1N1 vaccines to students as the vaccine arrives. Students will be notified of the vaccine clinics via special broadcast e-mails.
The current guidelines for universities expressly states that universities are to stay open. Things may change should a major outbreak occur, but those decisions will be made together with the health department. Stay ahead of your studies and assignments, and don't miss class unnecessarily, because then if you become ill, you won't fall as far behind.
Although anyone can get the H1N1 flu, it seems that young people are more easily infected. Pregnant women, those with young children, or those who provide care to young children, are considered to be at greatest risk, as are individuals with chronic medical conditions such as asthma.
Recommendations are made by the CDC and are interpreted or enforced by the local public health departments because each situation is different. You might not see the same action in another state, K-12 grade, or even in a suburb. Loyola is under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
We are in constant communication with the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health. E-mails are received whenever there is a change or update.
Yes. Getting the regular flu shot will help your provider know which flu you have in the event you get sick. It will also minimize your chance of having two types of flu at once. You will also help stop the spread of the regular flu in our community.
As a concerned parent, you are a very important partner in our efforts to keep our students healthy. You should also know that the University has been preparing for years for a possible pandemic.