Emergency Preparedness

Frequently Asked Questions about Influenza-Like Illness

  1. I have flu symptoms. What should I do?
  2. Do I need to see a doctor if I think I have Influenza?
  3. What are the warning signs that I might need urgent medical attention?
    1. If I am a student and miss class, will I be allowed to make up coursework?
    2. If I am on a student meal contract and can't leave my room due to the flu, how do I get my meals?
    3. What if my roommate has Influenza?
  4. What is the Influenza?
  5. How is Influenza spread?
  6. Should I get a flu shot?
  7. How can I avoid catching or spreading Influenza?
  8. How long does the flu last?
  9. How will I receive Influenza information from UMD?

1. I have flu symptoms. What should I do?

Your first priority is your health. You should avoid contact with others (self-isolate) until 24 hours after your fever has gone away without the use of medications such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin). Advanced planning with your families, roommates, employers and friends is strongly encouraged so you have the support you need if you are ill.

Students

  • Do not attend class or go to work
  • Notify Health Services at 218-726-8155
  • Go home to your family. If that is not possible, self-isolate in your apartment or on-campus residence
  • Contact your instructors by phone or email prior to missing class
  • For off-hour medical services call St. Luke's Hospital at 249-5616, St. Luke's Urgent Care Clinic at 249-6095, Nurse on Line at 786-3110, St. Mary's Hospital at 786-4357 or St. Mary's Urgent Care at 786-6000

Faculty and Staff

  • Do not report to work
  • Follow standard absence reporting procedures for your department

Personal care for the flu:

  • Get lots of rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue in the trash
  • For relief of fever, medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be used

2. Do I need to see a doctor if I think I have Influenza?

For most people, no, but notify Health Services at 218-726-8155. According to the CDC, most people are not likely to require medical attention due to a case of Influenza.

If you are part of a group at high risk of developing serious complications from seasonal influenza, yes. High risk groups include people of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Pregnant women, children younger than 5 years old, people over the age of 65, and individuals with suppressed immune systems are also considered high risk and should see a healthcare provider.


3. What are the warning signs that I might need urgent medical attention?

If you have symptom-related questions, call Health Services at 218-726-8155 or your personal healthcare provider. For medical emergencies call 911.
Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

4a. If I am a student and miss class, will I be allowed to make up coursework?

Yes. Instructors are examining the content and requirements of their courses in order to meet the needs of students who cannot attend class. Students are responsible to meet with their instructors once they are well to determine what they missed and how to make it up.

4b. If I am on a student meal contract and can't leave my room due to the flu, how do I get my meals?

If you are on a Residence Hall meal plan and need assistance with meals during your self-isolation, please call 218-726-7195 during the times listed below. Food Service will need at least 4 hours notice before meal delivery service can begin. This service is in response to the unique circumstances of Influenza and will not be available for other illnesses.

Mon. - Thurs. 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am - 6:30 pm
Sat. & Sun. 10:30 am - 6:30 pm

4c. What if my roommate has Influenza-Like Illness?

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Clean frequently used surfaces with disinfecting wipes
  • Try to stay 6 feet away from your roommate if possible
  • Do not share cups, glasses, or cooking/eating utensils
  • Encourage your roommate to wear a surgical mask and consider wearing a surgical mask yourself to reduce your exposure to the virus
  • Watch for symptoms for yourself. People infected with Influenza can spread the virus before they know they are sick, so you may have been exposed

5. What is Influenza?

Influenza is a virus that appears seasonally each year in the late fall and winter months. The illness typically takes one week or longer to completely run its course.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

6. How is Influenza spread?

Influenza is contagious. It is caused by a virus that spreads from human to human mainly through coughing or sneezing by people infected with the virus. Sometimes people may become infected by touching a surface or object with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.

People can spread Influenza before they develop flu-like symptoms, so take precautions even if you don't think you (or anyone around you) are sick.


7. Should I get a flu shot?

Seasonal flu shots

According to the CDC, you should consider receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. UMD has one additional mass vaccination clinic scheduled for January 30th 2013.


8. How can I avoid catching or spreading the flu?

A few precautionary measures can be very effective in protecting yourself or others from Influenza:

  • 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 are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are easily spread by hands.
  • Try to avoid close contact with individuals that are ill.
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or other necessities. Stay away from others as much as possible during this period to avoid making them sick.

9. How long does Influenza-Like Illness last?

Influenza typically takes about one week to ten days to run its course. Do not resume normal activities (class, work, etc) until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Until then you may still be contagious.


10. How will I receive Influenza information from UMD?

E-mail and TXT-U messages will be sent as needed. The Emergency Preparedness web page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. It can be found at http://www.d.umn.edu/emergency/

 

 

Revised 1-22-13


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