- Encourage employees and students to get vaccinated for seasonal influenza.
Facilitate self-isolation of
residential students with flu-like illness
Those with flu-like
illness should stay away from classes and limit interactions with other
people (called “self-isolation”), except to seek medical care, for at least
24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the
use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have
fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. They
should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking
antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
- Students with a
private room should remain in their room and receive care and meals from a
single person. Students can establish a “flu buddy scheme” in which students
pair up to care for each other if one or the other becomes ill.
Additionally, students can contact staff by e-mail, text messaging, or phone
If close contact with
others cannot be avoided, the ill student should wear a surgical
mask during the period of contact. Examples of close contact include
kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, or having any other contact
between persons likely to result in exposure to respiratory droplets.
with flu-like illness to promptly seek medical attention if they have a
medical condition that puts them at increased risk of severe illness from
flu, are concerned about their illness, or develop severe symptoms such as
increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or rapid
Promote self-isolation at home by
non-resident students, faculty, and staff
students, faculty, and staff with flu-like illness should be asked to
self-isolate at home or at a friend’s or family member’s home until at least
24 hours after they are free of fever, or signs of a fever, without the use
of fever-reducing medicines.
Recommended employer responses
Encourage sick employees to stay home.
- If an employee
becomes ill at work, inform fellow employees of their possible exposure in
the workplace to influenza-like illness but maintain confidentiality as
required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Considerations for high-risk students,
faculty and staff
People at high risk
for flu complications who become ill with flu-like illness should speak with
their health care provider as soon as possible. Early treatment with
antiviral medications often can prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Groups
that are at higher risk of complications from flu if they get sick include:
children younger than age 5; people age 65 or older; children and
adolescents (younger than age 18) who are receiving long-term aspirin
therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye’s syndrome after flu
virus infection; pregnant women; adults and children who have asthma, other
chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic,
neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders such as diabetes; and adults and
children with immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by
medications or by HIV). People age 65 and older, however, appear to be at
lower risk of 2009 H1N1 infection compared to younger people. But, if older
adults do get sick from flu, they are at increased risk of having a severe
One of the best ways
to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated against the flu.