H1N1 Flu Advisory Updates
As of this date, 84 cases of flu, H1N1 or otherwise, have been diagnosed at or reported to the Student Health Center. In every instance, the affected students or staff members have self-isolated until they could recover.
The University has a team from various departments monitoring the situation. Any changes or disruptions to University operations will be communicated to the campus community through News Center as new information becomes available.
Feb. 24, 2010
More H1N1 Flu Shots Available
The Student Health Center will offer additional H1N1 flu shots at 2-3 p.m. March 3 and 3-4 p.m. March 4. The shots are for UT Dallas students, faculty and staff members, and University retirees.
The free shots will be available in the Student Health Center (SU 1.606) until the supply is exhausted.
Feb. 5, 2010
Additional H1N1 Flu Shots Available
The Student Health Center will hold additional H1N1 flu shot sessions on Feb. 9 and 10 for UT Dallas students, faculty members and personnel.
The free shots will be available in the Student Health Center (SU 1.606) until the supply is exhausted.
Jan. 27, 2010
Free H1N1 Flu Shots Available to UT Dallas Community
The Student Health Center has received a supply of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine. Students, Faculty and Staff at UT Dallas who have not already received it can do so for free. Shots will be given at the Student Health Center (SU 1.606) on a first come-first served basis at the scheduled session times (see chart at right) or until the supply is exhausted.
Oct. 8, 2009
Office of the Provost Encourages Healthy Practices
The UT Dallas Office of the Provost urges students to take steps to protect themselves and others in the wake of H1N1 pandemic. Students who have symptoms or are exposed to someone who has H1N1 are encouraged not to attend class. Instead, students can contact their instructors and make arrangements to keep up with coursework, including exams, until they can return to class. Instructors are prepared to work with students to ensure that their education continues uninterrupted.
Aug. 28, 2009
H1N1 Flu: Back-to-School Precautions
With the start of the new academic year, health officials are warning college students that they are a high-risk group for contracting the H1N1 Flu virus.
“Unlike seasonal flu, H1N1 did not go dormant through the summer months and is still highly contagious,” said Beverly Ballard, director of Health Services at the Student Health Center.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued new precautions for preventing the spread of this new strain of flu on campus:
- Anybody with a flu-like illness needs to remain home until 24 hours after his fever has subsided without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Isolate from others and refrain from attending classes and limit interactions with other people except to seek medical care, for at least 24 hours after being symptom-free without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Wear a mask if you must leave your on-campus room or home for medical care.
- If possible, residential students with flu-like illness who live relatively close to the campus should return to their parents’ homes to keep from infecting others. If possible, travel by private car or taxi and avoid the use of public transportation.
Ballard said that the H1N1 flu requires bed rest and plenty of fluids.
“We’re asking anybody who has flu-like symptoms to self-isolate. Students who fall ill should notify their professors that they will be missing class,” said Ballard.
Several campus departments have plans in place should an outbreak of H1N1 grow to a level sufficient to disrupt ordinary operations. The Office of Student Affairs has set aside a limited number of student apartments for isolating sick students who live on campus and who cannot easily return home. They also have ordered 500 face masks to help prevent infected residents from spreading the virus to their roommates. Student Life staffers have been trained to help students who fall ill.
The Department of Facilities Management is ensuring that high-contact areas such as dining halls, classrooms and elevators are frequently cleaned and sanitized. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety has posted information throughout campus on the importance of good personal hygiene.
On the academic front, the Provost’s Office is asking faculty members to be prepared to communicate to their classes appropriate procedures that will allow students to continue to receive instruction if they are unable to attend class due to illness. Faculty members also are being encouraged to speak to their students about the importance of following the new CDC guidelines.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get the regular seasonal flu shots. Free seasonal flu shots will be available to UT Dallas students at the Student Health Center on Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and Sept. 16 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. The UT Dallas Staff Council also has contracted with a local health care provider for 600 free flu shots for faculty and staff, expected sometime in October. UT Dallas News Center will notify campus when those shots will be available.
The best prevention is paying attention to good personal hygiene. Fliers have been posted around campus with the message “clean, cover and contain,” which is meant to encourage a habit of sneezing into one’s sleeve, or the crook of the arm, instead of the hands. People should wash their hands with plenty of soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. University offices and residential areas are being supplied with extra cans of Lysol to keep high-contact areas clean.
A novel H1N1 vaccine is currently in production. College students are considered one of the priority groups for receiving the vaccine once it has been approved and released to the public by the federal government.
June 12, 2009
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the H1N1 flu virus has now reached pandemic levels with outbreaks of the virus being reported in more than 70 countries.
WHO’s decision to raise the pandemic alert level to Phase 6 is a reflection of the spread of the virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus.
The University is not restricting travel to other countries, but students, faculty or staff with plans to travel overseas for study abroad or other University business need to register their trip on the International SOS web site.
Travelers are advised to follow the prevention guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
May 7, 2009
Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to Mexico Lifted
The UT System has lifted its restrictions on non-essential travel to Mexico following a decision by the Centers for Disease Control to downgrade its original warning to avoid travel there. The CDC has instead issued a Travel Health Precaution for Mexico with recommendations to avoid contracting the H1N1 flu while visiting Mexico.
The restrictions on non-essential travel had been in place since April 26 in the wake of the H1N1 flu outbreak that has threatened public health in that country as well as in limited areas of Texas. On May 5, UT Dallas officials announced that the University was relocating its summer Spanish program in Guanajuato, Mexico, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in response to the warnings. That situation has not changed. Because of prior commitments, the summer program will still take place in Buenos Aires from June 8 to July 3.
In a memorandum to presidents at UT System schools, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said that travel to Mexico should resume with conditional approvals by each institution, based on a review of the following considerations:
- The purpose of the trip.
- The types of activities planned.
- Any confirmed H1N1 flu cases in the region.
- The availability of health care in that region.
- Further medical advisories from the CDC and International SOS, which is a medical and security assistance program.
- The need for isolation after return, if warranted.
May 5, 2009
UT Dallas Spanish Program Relocated to Argentina
The University’s Spanish program in Guanajuato, Mexico will instead be in Buenos Aires, Argentina this summer in response to warnings from The Centers for Disease Control and the UT System about non-essential travel to Mexico because of a widespread outbreak of H1N1 flu there. Currently no UT Dallas students are studying in Mexico.
“We gave this decision a lot of consideration,” said Rodolfo Hernandez, Ph.D., director of the UT Dallas Office of International Education. “By relocating to Buenos Aires, we are avoiding any major disruptions for the students’ summer plans because we are able to keep the costs, dates and academic content the same.”
The Jose Ortega y Gasset Foundation (FOGAT) in Buenos Aires has agreed to be the host institution for this year’s Spanish program. The same dates for the Mexican trip are planned for the Argentina trip: June 8 to July 3.
Because Buenos Aires is a longer flight than from Dallas to Guanajuato, the air fare would normally be higher. The University, however, has agreed to cover the difference. FOGAT is working to find host families in Buenos Aires for the 16 UT Dallas students who have enrolled in the six-credit hour program and the program’s director, Marie DeMello, Ph.D., will be arriving in Buenos Aires a week ahead of the students to ensure everything is in order.
Since 1996 the University has offered courses in the Spanish language, history and culture at its program at the University of Guanajuato.
UT Dallas, in conjunction with other UT System institutions, is acting on a UT System advisory to limit non-essential travel to Mexico in the wake of the H1N1 flu outbreak that has threatened health in that country as well as in limited areas of Texas.
The American College Health Association, of which UT Dallas is a member, recommends taking the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention precautions regarding the virus, including the following:
- Avoid close contact with others who are sick. Keep your distance from others and stay away from campus if you are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze.
- Discard used tissues in an appropriate trash receptacle, and avoid placing them on any surface that others may touch.
- Wash your hands frequently and/or use a hand sanitizer, especially before eating.
- Avoid touching your eyes nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits; eat nutritious foods, get plenty of rest, exercise, manage your stress and drink plenty of fluids.
Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, firstname.lastname@example.org
Free H1N1 Flu Shots
Wednesday – March 3: ……… 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
3. Avoid using your hands when coughing or sneezing. Instead, follow the “clean, cover and contain” regimen, which is meant to encourage a habit of sneezing into one’s sleeve, or the crook of the arm, instead of the hands.
4. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.