H1N1 (Swine) Flu Information
If You Are Ill
What should I do if I feel like I have the flu?
- The Centers for Disease Control provides the following advice: Treat symptoms as you would any other flu. Drink plenty of liquids, take over-the-counter fever/pain medication as directed, stay home and get plenty of rest. If you are at high risk for complications of influenza, OR if your symptoms are not improving over 4-5 days after first becoming ill or are becoming more severe (having difficulty breathing, severe vomiting and/or diarrhea, extreme weakness, or confusion), you should seek medical care.
- To avoid infecting others, officials advise that you stay home until your fever is gone, and your other symptoms are mostly resolved, for at least 24 hours after taking fever-reducing medicine.
High-risk persons include: those between the ages of 8 and 24, pregnant women, children on long-term aspirin therapy, those with an immunosuppressive condition or taking immunosuppressive medication, and those with certain chronic conditions including cardiac, pulmonary, renal, liver, hematologic, metabolic or neurologic/neuromuscular disease.
- Unless you need urgent medical care, phone rather than go directly to a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
- If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people for at least 24 hours after your temperature is normal without the aid of fever reducing medicine.
How can students make a Purdue University Student Health (PUSH) appointment?
- Phone the Purdue Student Health Center at (765) 494-1700 between 8 am and 8 pm weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends. If you are having mild symptoms, it may not be necessary for you to come in. After hours, you can call for advice to the Collegiate Assistance Line at 866-272-7119, PIN 390.
Should I go to class or work if I have flu symptoms?
- If you have flu symptoms, it’s best to not attend work, classes or events for seven days from the onset of symptoms or until your temperature is normal for 24 hours without medicine, and your other symptoms are mostly resolved, whichever is longest.
- Know ahead of time what the absence policy is. It is very important that you contact your professors, instructors, or employers as soon as possible during or immediately following your illness. It is essential that notification be made before final grades are determined.
- It’s possible that assignments or notes can be sent to you that will allow you to keep up with your coursework. Classmates may be willing to take notes on your behalf. If you are too ill to be productive academically while you are resting away from school, an incomplete or medical drop may be considered.
If I am a student with the diagnosis of H1N1 and have roommates, what should I do to reduce the chances of my roommates catching the flu?
- Because of variability in housing situations (square footage, shared spaces versus non-shared spaces, and number of roommates), it is difficult to give a comprehensive answer. In general, a sick student who shares housing with other individuals should do whatever can be reasonably done to lessen exposure of roommates who are well.
- Students who live in housing with larger square footage and have their own bedroom and bathroom but share a kitchen and living space should minimize time spent in shared spaces and preferentially spend time in their non-shared room.
- Infectious droplets can travel at least 6 feet from a cough or sneeze and land on a well person or other surfaces in a room. Risk can be lessened if the sick or well person leaves for seven or more days and stays at alternative housing. If this is not an option, the sick person can wear a mask to avoid spread of droplets through coughing or sneezing.
- Sick students who have family living within a reasonable distance from campus sometimes choose to leave their housing to spend the 7 or more days recovering at the family home.
- The sick and well person should frequently wash his or her hands or use a hand sanitizer. Frequently decontaminate surfaces that are commonly touched. Cough into your arm. Carefully discard tissue.