Pandemic influenza, the emergence of a novel influenza A virus subtype (H1N1), is a global event that puts all countries at risk. During disease outbreaks of this nature, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) works together with the World Health Organization and other international partners on containment and response activities abroad. These efforts assist with the planning for and monitoring of disease outbreaks in the U.S.
MICA’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will stay abreast of pandemic influenza events announced by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC); as a member of the National Safety Council, EHS will receive alerts regarding all CDC notifications via email and phone.
If you experience any of the following symptoms - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue - immediately call your health care provider for instructions. Do not come into work or to campus, and limit your contact with others.
- Persons who have underlying medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders), women who are pregnant, and people with compromised immune systems should call their health care provider for advice regarding teh H1N1 virus. People who fall into these categories are at high risk for medical complication when contracting H1N1 and may need to receive anti-viral drugs to prevent illness.
- If the CDC declares a public health emergency, refer to MICA's website for further information and work-related instructions. You can learn about individual planning for such an event by referring to http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/index.html
SUBSEQUENT PROCEDURES & INFORMATION
In the event of a public health emergency, the EHS Manager, who acts as the Pandemic Coordinator, will monitor the event using state, federal, and local resources, including:
- http://alerts.nsc.org for timely CDC updates
Pandemic influenza status updates, prevention tips, instructions, and resources will be posted on the MICA webpage within 24 hours of notification from the CDC.
The Pandemic Coordinator will meet with the Emergency Action Plan Team to form the Pandemic Response Team. This team will meet to delineate resources and assign responsibility within specific time frames for actions that may include: posting notices, precautions and updates; updating and implementing policy; posting notifications for parents and families; closing classes; reducing schedules; closing facilities or the entire campus. Each policy developed by the team will be consistent with recommendations from the CDC and the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the correlating phase of the public health emergency. Policies will be posted on the MICA webpage and emailed to parents, students, staff, and faculty.
The Pandemic Response Team Members may include:
- Campus Health Services
- Mental Health/ Counselors
- Residence Life
- Campus Safety
- Facilities Management
- Building Services
- Dining Services
- Student Affairs
- Student representatives
- Human Resources
- Academic Services
- Graduate and Professional Studies
- Continuing Studies
- Student Advisors
- Resident Advisors
- Actively monitor your health and the health of friends and family.
- Call your health care provider as soon as flulike symptoms appear.
- Do not come into to work, attend classes, or attend community events if you experience flulike symptoms.
- Consider avoiding travel either domestically or abroad to locations reporting cases of the specific virus subtype.
- Report any new respiratory illness consistent with influenza (fever, chills, cough, sore throat) if you have traveled to states, bordering states, and countries with known cases of the specific virus subtype.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and throw away the tissue after you use it.
- Wash your hands often, using soap and hot water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective at removing germs.
- To help prevent spreading influenza or other illnesses, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses are spread that way.
- Develop a family, roommate and office- co-worker plan (http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/index.html).
- The CDC will supply with state with doses of antiviral medication upon the declaration of a health emergency by the governor.