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Frequently Asked Questions About Swine Flu and Northwestern University

Answers to key questions about the swine influenza type A virus (H1N1) and how it relates to Northwestern.

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May 1, 2009 | by Alan K. Cubbage
Following are answers to frequently asked questions about the swine influenza type A virus (H1N1) and how it relates to Northwestern University. Additional information about the illness is available at:

U.S. Center for Disease Control
http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Northwestern University Health Services
http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/swineflu.aspx

Has there been a case of H1N1 flu at Northwestern?
The diagnosis of influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) was confirmed in a Northwestern University student on May 13, 2009.

What is being done with the student?
The student is an undergraduate who was living on campus, but she returned home after she began to feel ill. She is recovering from her infection without complications. Following the recently revised CDC guidelines regarding isolation of people who have the flu, 24 hours after the student no longer is exhibiting flu-like symptoms or seven days after the onset of the illness, whichever is longer, she will be allowed to return to campus.

What is being done to protect other students?
At this time the CDC does not recommend any special measures to protect most students who may have been exposed to an individual with swine flu. Students should take the protective measures listed below. Students who may have been exposed and who have chronic medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact the Health Service. Students who live in the same residence as the affected student are being notified.

Why isn't the University canceling classes or closing?
Public health officials have not advised universities to do so where cases have been confirmed University health service officials and leaders will monitor the situation carefully.

Should I go to class or work if I feel ill?
No, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. The University strongly advises that all students, faculty and staff follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including:
• 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 cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

If I'm feeling ill with flu-like symptoms, where should I go to get tested or for treatment?
Students on the Evanston and Chicago campuses should consult the Health Services web site for their respective campus for information on services, locations and hours. The web sites are:
http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/default.aspx
http://www-chicago.nuhs.northwestern.edu/
Faculty and staff should contact their personal physicians for testing and treatment.

Where can I get updated information from Northwestern and more information on swine flu?
Northwestern will update the campus community as appropriate through use of its emergency notification system. In addition, information will be posted on the Northwestern web site on the home page, www.northwestern.edu, NewsCenter, www.northwestern.edu/newscenter, and the emergency page, www.northwestern.edu/emergency. For additional information from the Center for Disease Control, go to http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/
Topics: People