H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza

Prevention

H1N1 influenza is currently present in Shasta County and cases are increasing as we move through the fall season, but very few cases of seasonal flu have been detected at this time.

To avoid becoming ill, students, faculty and staff should take the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Use the hand sanitizers frequently; e.g. when you enter and leave a building
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and properly dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill, especially if they have a fever and cough.
  • Clean living quarters and offices frequently, wiping down frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, desks, tables, chairs, counters, keyboards, and other surfaces.
  • Get the seasonal flu vaccine (all ages), and also H1N1 flu vaccine if you are under age 25. These are especially important if you are at high risk for complications due to pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
  • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food and keeping physically active.

If you are ill with the symptoms listed below, DO NOT go to class or come to work. Faculty and staff should call their doctor for advice, and students should contact the Health Center as soon as possible. (See contact information below.)

  • Sudden fever and chills with cough and/or sore throat.
  • Body aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

(NOTE: If you need to be seen at a clinic or ER you should call ahead to the facility, and wear a mask for transport and while at the facility. Masks are available at the Simpson Wellness Center, second floor of the Owen Center, Suite #208).

All students who become ill with influenza will be required to remain in their rooms in isolation until 24 hours after their fever has ended.

Faculty and staff with influenza will be asked to stay home and not return to work until 24 hours after their fever has ended.

Excused Absence Issues

  • If you are in mandatory isolation due to influenza-like illness you should notify all your professors via email right away. The Nurse will also send a list of these names to the Provost for verification of your illness.
  • It is wise to see the Nurse for any illness that keeps you from attending class. In addition to receiving medication, advice, and/or referral to a physician, she can verify that you were ill if a professor asks.
  • The Health Center policy regarding class absences is as follows.
    • We do not write excuses for student absences from class.
    • If a professor wants verification that a particular student was indeed ill he or she can contact the Nurse for verification.
    • We cannot verify a student’s illness if we are not notified until after the fact. A late report cannot be accepted.

Students whose roommates are ill should take the following precautions

  • Limit your contact with your sick roommate and try to maintain a distance of 6 feet from him or her.
  • If close contact cannot be avoided, your sick roommate should wear a surgical mask, if tolerable, when around you and other people, or you can wear a mask, or both.
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces.

About Vaccines here at Simpson University

  • Vaccine for seasonal flu is currently available in the Health Center in Owen Center. This does not prevent the H1N1 flu, however.
  • Vaccine for H1N1 flu will be available at Simpson by mid-November, per Public Health Department projections.
    • This will be administered at no charge.
    • Priority will be given to those 24 years and younger* and those who are at high risk (e.g. pregnant women and those with pre-existing health conditions).
    • Good news – only one dose of the new H1N1 flu vaccine will be needed for adults.