September 11, 2009
Dear SPU Commuter Student,
As we approach Autumn Quarter at SPU, the H1N1 virus (swine flu) has been discussed often in the news. There have been many reports of suspected cases in colleges and universities around the country. We hope this letter and the resources available to you will help keep you well as you continue your SPU educational journey.
Health Services will continue to track H1N1 influenza and update the departmental website. Please refer to the information and helpful resources listed there.
As is the case with many health-related issues, prevention is a key factor. This is a significant issue with H1N1. Here are a few suggestions:
- Good hand hygiene. Washing hands thoroughly and often with soap and water is important. Additionally, alcohol-based hand cleaners are effective.
- Respiratory etiquette. Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing reduces the spread of the germs and the virus. Use a tissue (once only) or the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as germs are easily spread this way.
- Signs and symptoms. SPU’s Health Services provides helpful information regarding the signs and symptoms of the flu. Typical symptoms include sudden illness; fever of 100.4 F or higher; chills; cough; headache; sore throat; stuffy nose; muscle aches; weakness or exhaustion; diarrhea; vomiting; abdominal pain.
- SPU’s Health Services staff is available for diagnosis and treatment for serious illness Monday–Friday. Call 206-281-2231 for an appointment or walk in.
- Self-isolate if ill. The Centers for Disease Control suggests that students with flu-like illness limit their interactions with others, except to seek medical attention.
SPU is making other preparations for students affected by H1N1
- Faculty are receiving education on the H1N1 virus and how it may affect the classroom. Dr. Les Steele, vice president of academic affairs, will be sending an email to all faculty regarding symptoms of H1N1, student absenteeism, and alternative educational delivery options.
- University Services is working with our dining service provider, Sodexo, to provide “Flu Trays” for students with flu-like illness and who have a valid meal plan. Check with a hall staff member or dining services personnel for assistance. If you don’t have a meal plan, flu trays will be available at the C-Store for purchase. Additionally, Sodexo has taken measures to reduce the spread of germs by providing hand sanitizers in the dining areas and touch surface sanitizing to help prevent the spread of the flu.
- SPU’s facilities staff will continue to be diligent in cleaning and providing products for the health of our community. More than 70 hand sanitizing dispensers have been placed in common areas around campus. Restroom soap dispensers are filled with antibacterial soap. Offices around campus have alcohol-based hand solutions in reception areas across campus. Public areas will continue to receive attention for cleaning to prevent the spread of germs.
We ask that you partner with us to keep you and our campus healthy.
- Make sure your living environment is cleaned regularly. If your housemate(s) has flu-like symptoms, thoroughly clean all touch surfaces to prevent the spread of germs.
- If you contract flu-like symptoms and live close to campus, consider going home for a short period of time. Make sure you contact someone (ie.g., roommate, neighbor, family member, or friend) to check in on you. The CDC suggests that students self-isolate for 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- If you have a medical condition (e.g., asthma, immunosuppression conditions, pregnant, etc.) or have complications with the flu (e.g., difficult or rapid breathing, bluish skin or lip color, chest pain or pressure, confusion), you may be at an increased risk of severe illness from the flu. Please seek medical attention promptly.
- If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room.
If you need assistance, please contact the Office of Student Programs at 206-281-2247. Staff will assist you in finding the appropriate resources on campus.
Providing current information and recommendations are of significant importance as we address the concerns presented by the H1N1 virus. SPU Health Services continues to be the central source of this information for our campus community, and has for more information and links.
We also encourage you to refer your parents to H1N1 information at Parents & Families: In the Loop. As necessary, the SPU administration will also communicate with you.
We appreciate your partnership in these efforts to keep the SPU community — and you — healthy.
Director, Health Services
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs /
Dean of Student Life