TCU: FLU RESOURCES
Flu Resources
Health & Safety

H1N1 FAQs


How is TCU responding to H1N1?

Right now, TCU is working closely with county health officials and monitoring the campus for any signs of influenza-like illnesses. As of now, there have been a few reported cases of TCU students with H1N1. All were mild cases and the students are recovering. Staff from the Brown-Lupton Health Center human resources, risk management, campus life, residential services, and communications have received FEMA-based training to develop skills necessary to respond in this sort of situation. Additionally, the University’s risk management and emergency preparedness team will continue to update the institution on steps it should take to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff during this time.

What are faculty, staff and students encouraged to do at this time to prevent the flu?

Campus members are encouraged to practice good hygiene. This includes coveringyour nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze (do not use hands); washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent easy spread of germs. TCU has alcohol-based hand cleaner dispensers in the Campus Recreation Center, Health Center and throughout the residence halls.

If someone has flu-like symptoms, what should they do?

If a person has flu-like symptoms -- fever, body aches, and cough -- they should seek medical attention. Students can seek medical care at the Brown-Lupton Health Center. Faculty, staff and students can be treated through their personal physicians or at urgent care centers. Additionally, the CDC recommends that anyone who is sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home from school and work.

How long should a campus member stay home if they or a family member is diagnosed with the flu?

For all students diagnosed with the flu, you should self-isolate from the onset of symptoms until 24 hours after the you are fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication. For all faculty and staff, if you are ill OR if a family member is ill, both the ill person and the caregiver should self-isolate from the onset of symptoms until 24 hours after the you are fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication.

I have flu-like symptoms, does it mean I have H1N1?

Not necessarily. Flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, and cough) can indicate the regular flu or other conditions. Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Who is most at risk for serious complications for swine flu?

Individuals who are at high risk for H1N1 are those who are at high risk for seasonal influenza. This includes individuals who are over the age of 65, younger than the age of five, who have weakened immune systems, who are pregnant, or individuals who may have an underlying health condition such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, or cardiovascular disease.

What are Tamiflu and Relenza?

There are two different antiviral medications that can be used to treat swine influenza. One is called oseltamivir, also known as Tamiflu, and the other is known as zanamivir, also known as Relenza. Both of those are what are called neuraminidase inhibitor medications. They work by preventing the release of infectious influenza virus from the cells, effectively stopping the infection. These medications will be given sparingly and to those with influenza A when and if the symptoms are severe enough to warrant hospitalization or medical care to avoid using all of the stockpiles of these antivirals up for what is otherwise going to be very mild symptoms or very mild illness.

Will TCU shut down due to H1N1?

TCU follows Tarrant County Health Department guidelines. If the Health Department issues a closure notice for universities, TCU will comply with those guidelines.

Does TCU treat students, faculty and staff who become ill?

TCU students can be treated for illnesses at the Brown-Lupton Health Center. The Health Center has test kits and surveillance kits to identify, monitor and report cases of influenza on campus. Only students with flu-like symptoms will be tested. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use their personal physicians or local hospitals. Additionally, students also can seek medical care through their own personal physicians or at local hospitals.

What is the Health Center doing now?

As of now, the Health Center is following guidelines issued by the Tarrant County Public Health Department. Tarrant County is working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). The Health Center is monitoring for and will report any campus influenza cases. Further outside testing will determine if the illness is linked to swine influenza. The Health Center can begin initial treatment for students identified with the virus.

How can I prepare for a flu outbreak? Recommendations from: Consumer Reports

  • Food & water - Keep a two-week supply of food and water in case you're confined to your home. Food should be nonperishable, ready-to-eat items, such as canned goods, dry cereal and peanut butter. At least one gallon per person per day. Bottled water is best because it can be stored indefinitely at room temperature, if it remains properly sealed and is kept dry and away from direct sunlight.
  • Surgical Masks - Surgical masks must have a rating from the Food and Drug Administration of at least N95 to help prevent the spread of the flu. The N95 designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death
    • Masks need to be replaced often and disposed of after use. Kind of like a tissue -- once you use it, it's done.
    • If you take it off to eat, then you should put a new one on after that.
    • To safely discard your mask, place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Wash your hands after handling the used mask.
  • Cough and Cold Medications - Cough and cold medications must contain: chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine.
    • Chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine are both good for drying up post nasal drip, while oxymetazoline is good for a stuffy nose.
    • Pseudoephedrine helps to avoid rebound congestion.
    • Lozenges should have dyclonine, glycerin or honey. Dyclonine can work better than other sore throat treatments; glycerin and honey are good for easing cough.
    • Medicated lozenges don't work any better than nonmedicated, and medicated have the potential to pose risks to children.
  • Electrolyte Drinks - Drinks like Gatorade or Powerade help keep you hydrated.
  • Fever Reducers - Keep fever reducers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Hand Sanitizer - It should have at least 60 percent alcohol to kill viruses when soap and water aren't available.

How does TCU treat students who’ve traveled abroad?

TCU Health Center staff routinely ask students seeking treatment whether or not they have traveled abroad. Additionally, Health Center staff will now ask if a student has traveled to a state where cases of swine influenza have been confirmed.

Is travel abroad safe?

As of now, the government has not issued any travel alerts or warnings about countries due to the swine influenza. However, if that changes, TCU will alert students scheduled to travel abroad of those changes. The University will cancel or postpone University-sponsored travel to another country if a travel warning is issued.

How can I keep up with developments related to swine influenza?

Both the CDC and WHO are monitoring the swine influenza outbreak. For further information, visit the following Websites:

www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm

www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html