Swine Flu ( H1N1) Update

More on H1N1 flu

Health Alert//H1N1 Home Page

Absenteeism Tracking for Staff and Faculty

Preparedness for Wellesley Faculty

Flu FAQs for Wellesley community

Centers for Disease Control info

Swine Flu Info from U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Mass. Dept. of Public Health Updates

Wellesley College Health Alerts Archive 2008-2009


What you can do to stay healthy

wash handsWash your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow instead of into your hands

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people

• If you’re sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them

Seek medical attention if you have or develop sudden onset of symptoms such as:

• Fever (temp >100.5)

• Chills

• Severe body aches

• Runny nose

• Sore throat

Students should contact the Health Service at x2810 for guidance about symptoms. Faculty and staff should contact their individual health care providers.


Key contacts at Wellesley

Health Service: 781-283-2810

Employee Absentee Tracking: 781-283-3474

Police Department:
781-283-2121 (general information)
781-283-5555 (emergency)

For parents and students:
Dean of Students: 781-283-2322

International Student Advisor:

Public Affairs: 781-283-2373

For parents concerned about students studying abroad:
International Studies
: 781-283-2320

To: Members of the Wellesley College Community

From: Wellesley College Pandemic Preparedness Team

Date: August 31, 2009

Re: H1N1 (Swine) Influenza

Welcome to campus for Fall 2009! We look forward to another wonderful year of learning and growth. We want to assure all members of the College community that much care and thought have gone into preparations for managing the likelihood of H1N1 (swine) influenza activity on campus. The College’s Pandemic Planning Team continues to meet, as it did during the last school year, to plan for any possible influenza cases. We are collaborating with our local, state, and federal public health officials to ensure that we are following best practices and guidance with regard to this important issue.

Flu can be spread easily from person to person. Therefore, we are taking steps to prevent the spread of flu for as long as possible, but, we need your help to accomplish this.

We continue to work closely with the Town of Wellesley Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as they help us monitor flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning our institution. We will keep you updated via a link from the College’s home Web page with new information as it becomes available to us. Please visit: www.wellesley.edu/PublicAffairs/healthalert.html.

Our Prevention Efforts

Using a multitude of approaches, our Health Promotion Team will continue to raise and reinforce awareness campus-wide of the importance of hand hygiene, cough etiquette, self care, and accessing Health Services. Education sessions and materials will be available in residence halls, on-line, and at other locations.

High touch areas such as bathrooms, dining facilities, etc. will be cleaned frequently by custodial staff. Students will be encouraged to keep their rooms clean, particularly after entertaining friends.

There are also a few things you can do to help our community remain as healthy as possible. We would like to remind you of several important practices and would ask that you frequently remind each other of them as well:

Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.

Practice respiratory etiquette by covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If there isn’t a tissue available, cough or sneeze into an elbow or shoulder, not into hands. Avoid touching eyes, the nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.

When the seasonal flu vaccine becomes available, students should strongly consider vaccination. Employees will want to talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. Through the Health Service, seasonal flu shots will be offered to students very early in the fall semester. Should our supply of seasonal flu vaccine be limited, those who live within an hour’s drive of campus may want to have their primary care clinician administer the vaccine. Vaccine is $20 per dose. Notices of vaccination clinics times, dates, and locations will be widely advertised on campus. Additionally, if you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm. Guidance regarding the distribution of H1N1 vaccine will be announced as soon as it is available.

Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (100 F) or 38 degrees Celsius (38 C). Look for possible signs of fever: If you feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating or shivering. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Please make sure you have a digital thermometer. Students should also have ibuprofen or acetaminophen on hand to take should they feel sick.

Sporadic Influenza on Campus

In the event of isolated or sporadic case(s) of H1N1, students will be asked to self-isolate. This directive, based upon Centers for Disease Control guidance, means that ill students stay in their residence hall rooms, only leaving to use the residence hall bathrooms, not attending classes or going to activities or jobs. Contact with other students should be based on necessity. Food will be delivered to self-isolated students. Plans for self-isolation will be facilitated when students have flu or flu-like illness and should continue for at least 24 hours after a fever has fallen below 100 F or 38 C. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

Alternative housing or cohorting (housing together those with the same illness) will be arranged, if necessary.

Ill students with family, friends, or host families residing within one to two hours of travel distance may be advised to travel to those homes via private vehicles, avoiding public transportation.

Food service personnel and others will assist in preparing and distributing food to students who are in self-isolation.

The Health Service staff will help to coordinate regular contact with students in self-isolation to assess ongoing needs, reinforce hygiene, etc.

Students with severe illness. Our policies for referring ill students to the hospital for management of influenza will be based upon clinical assessment, CDC and Department of Public Health guidelines.

Wellesley College Health Services. Students in need of medical attention or with questions should contact the Wellesley College Health Service at 781-283-2810, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours, students with urgent health issues should access the on-call clinician also by calling 781-283-2810.

Widespread Influenza on or around Campus

If this year’s flu season becomes severe, Wellesley College may take the following additional steps to prevent the spread of the virus:

Allow students, faculty, and staff at higher risk for complications to stay home or in their residence hall room. Students will have an opportunity to make that decision by consulting with Health Service staff. Faculty and staff will make this decision in consultation with their health care provider.

Implement ways to increase social distances (the space between people) in classrooms such as moving desks farther apart, leaving empty seats between students, holding outdoor classes, and using distance learning methods.

Sick time for students, faculty, or staff to stay home or in their residence. Those suffering from severe flu symptoms should stay home or in their rooms for at least 7 days, even if they feel better sooner. Those who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away.

Suspend classes, athletic events or other mass gatherings. If determined to be necessary, the decision to suspend classes will be made together with local and state public health officials and Wellesley College’s president, dean of the college and other college administrators. The length of time classes or other events should be suspended will depend upon factors such as the severity and extent of illness.

For more information about flu and what our institution is doing, visit the Wellesley College home page at www.wellesley.edu and click on Health Alert (www.wellesley.edu/PublicAffairs/healthalert.html). Students with questions should contact the Wellesley College Health Service at 781-283-2810, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours, students with urgent health issues should access the on-call clinician also by calling 781-283-2810.

For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit www.cdc.gov or www.flu.gov, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).


Wellesley College Pandemic Planning Team