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Health Service Updates Guide to H1N1 Services

Self-screening, flu kits, isolation and all the latest information on the Northwestern response to H1N1

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October 1, 2009 | by Alan K. Cubbage
General information related to H1N1 infection can be found on the University Health Service website at http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/h1n1flu.aspx.  This e-mail provides the latest  information about H1N1 services available to students.

Self-Screening Tools

While students may call the University Health Service for telephone consultation or make appointments to be seen by a Health Service medical professional, self-screening forms are available for students who believe they may have H1N1 infection or are concerned that they may have had a significant exposure to the H1N1 virus.  The "I Think I May Have H1N1 Influenza" self-screening form may be found at http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/h1n1_patient_prtcl.aspx, while the "I Think I May Have been exposed to H1N1 Influenza" screening form may be found at http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/h1n1_contact_prtcl.aspx.  These self-screening tools allow students an easy and readily available means to assess their personal situation with respect to H1N1 infection.  

Flu Kits

Flu kits containing disposable thermometers, face masks, Purell, and instructions for self-care as well as the care of others are available for students suspected of having H1N1 infection.  These kits have been distributed to Residence Hall and Residential College staff and to fraternity/sorority House Directors.  Students who live off-campus can obtain flu kits at the University Health Service (Searle Hall at 633 Emerson Street) and Scott Hall (Garden Level).

Isolation

The University has secured temporary, on-campus, isolation housing (Rogers House) for students with suspected H1N1 infection.  Requests for isolation housing may be made through the "Student Reporting Form for Influenza-Like-Illness or H1N1 Influenza" (https://www-evanston.nuhs.northwestern.edu/ili-self-report.html ).  Meals will be automatically provided to students who isolate themselves in Rogers House.  The number of isolation housing rooms is limited and will be filled on a first come basis. 

Well roommates of ill students may continue to request alternative housing for themselves.  When a student is identified as a suspect case of H1N1 influenza, University Residential Life staff members will contact well roommates to see if they wish to move to other, temporary quarters.

Flu Buddies

Students are highly encouraged to obtain "flu buddies" even if they are not now ill.  Flu buddies are fellow students who are willing to look in on an ill classmate and pick up "To Go" meals from university dining halls.  Once an ill student completes the "Student Reporting Form for Influenza-Like-Illness or H1N1 Influenza" (https://www-evanston.nuhs.northwestern.edu/ili-self-report.html ), the Housing and Food Service will be automatically notified so that a flu buddy will have permission to obtain "To Go" meals from university dining facilities.

Reporting Form

All ill students are strongly encouraged to complete the "Student Reporting Form for Influenza-Like Illness or H1N1 Influenza."   By doing so, alternative housing may be obtained for themselves or well roommates, and flu buddy "To Go" meal permissions will be processed.  Equally important, however, is that completion of the Reporting Form allows the University to track the progress of suspected H1N1 on campus, allowing identification of particularly severe outbreak clusters as well as providing data for national tracking.  Completion of the form does NOT require a student to go into isolation.

Vaccinations

The CDC recommends that all students obtain both seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccinations this year.

The University Health Service has obtained half of the SEASONAL FLU VACCINE that it has ordered; it is hoped the remainder of the order will be filled in the coming weeks.  Seasonal flu shots are now available at the Health Service (633 Emerson St.) on an appointment basis.  The cost is $25, and students are reminded that the CDC recommends remaining seated for 15-20 minutes after receiving the injection.

Although not finalized, current plans are that H1N1 VACCINATIONS will be available to Northwestern students on November 17th - 19th at both a North Campus and South Campus site.  There will be no charge for H1N1 vaccinations.

Final words

We encourage students to review the general H1N1information and the tips for reducing infection available at http://www.nuhs.northwestern.edu/evanston/h1n1flu.aspx.  

All Northwestern University students should feel free to speak with and ask questions of Health Service staff as well as keep the Health Service informed of their H1N1 status.  In addition to the main Health Service telephone number (847-491-8100), students are encouraged to call the Health Service H1N1 Hotline ("SwineLine") during regular business hours at 847-467-4161 for general information and questions.

Topics: University