Fort Hays State University has actively addressed the possibility of an outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, originally known as "swine flu." Although no cases of H1N1 have yet been recorded on the FHSU campus or in the Hays area, FHSU's Office of Student Affairs has developed a list of precautionary measures to prevent any outbreak of H1N1 from spreading.
Student Affairs, through the Student Health Center, plans to distribute H1N1 vaccine on campus when it becomes available. The vaccine has been ordered from the State Department of Health, and outreach flu clinics will be held in the residence halls and the Memorial Union.
Along with preventing the spread of H1N1, another goal is to better educate students, faculty and staff about it. Hand sanitizers and educational fliers were handed out at the Back-to-School Picnic on Monday. More educational outreach is being posted on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and TigerConnect, FHSU's social networking site for first-year students.
The FHSU Web site has been updated with best practices in flu prevention, and frequently asked questions and a poster campaign on campus will better educate students, faculty and staff about the dangers and ways to prevent H1N1.
Student Affairs has released a list of tips and information to help students, faculty and staff deal with H1N1.
Students with questions concerning illness, medication or treatment can visit the Student Health Center, located in the lower level of the Memorial Union. Hours for the health center are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
If diagnosed with influenza-like symptoms or H1N1, students, faculty and staff are urged not to attend class or work. Individuals with flu-like symptoms should refrain from contact with others. An influenza-like illness is defined as a combination of fever with either cough or sore throat. It may also involve extreme fatigue and body aches.
Student Affairs encourages parents of students and family of faculty and staff to plan how to respond if influenza-like illness occurs. The best place to recuperate is at home. For students who are ill with flu-like symptoms and cannot go home, isolation rooms will be provided to minimize contact with other students and prevent the spread of the illness. Students in a single room should remain there until their parents arrive. Food for sick students on a meal plan will be prepared by Chartwell's, FHSU's catering company.
Because not all students will be able to go home, plans are still being developed for sick students who will be unable to leave campus to recuperate.
Student Affairs thanks students, parents, faculty and staff for supporting the campus plan and cooperating with community health protocols being followed at FHSU to deal with the H1N1 virus. For additional information, review the Center for Disease Control Web site at http://www.cdc.gov, and visit the university's Student Health Center's Web site at http://www.fhsu.edu/studenthealth/.