The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat and respiratory congestion. Many people infected with the H1N1 virus have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. People who experience these symptoms should contact their health care provider.
Just three days into the fall semester, about a dozen Kansas University students had been ordered into isolation after being diagnosed with swine flu.
With a strong resurgence of swine flu expected this fall, KU officials said many more students are expected to fall ill and they’re urging all students to take health precautions seriously and reminding them of the incentives to paying attention.
“Our main interest is to avoid disruptions to the academic schedule,” said Todd Cohen, university spokesman. “We don’t want kids to get sick and then miss a lot of class. So we’re trying to educate them, let them know if they do get H1N1, they might be isolated.”
Notices are being issued to students, parents and campus faculty and they contain information about the precautions to take to avoid the flu from spreading.
Amid the usual requests of frequent hand washing and sneezing into your shirt sleeve, university officials are asking students to have isolation plans in place in case they catch the flu. The highest concern is among those living in apartments and campus residence halls.
Students who develop symptoms of swine flu — even if they’re minor — are being asked to stay out of class and return to their family home or an off-campus location. Health officials at KU are asking sick students to stay out of public places and class until 24 hours after their fever is gone.
If a student chooses to isolate in their on-campus residence, the university will ask any roommates to move temporarily. Arrangements will be made for the students to receive meals and the student will be asked to wear a surgical mask when walking down the hallway to use the restroom.
Professors and other KU faculty are being asked to work with students who don’t show up for class because they’re ill, instead of counting it against them. They’re also asking faculty to stay at home if they’re sick, so they don’t spread their illness to students.
While a vaccine for swine flu is expected by October, university officials said it won’t be effective until the end of the fall semester. They’re encouraging all students to get the vaccine when it becomes available.