H1N1 Information

The following are the most common questions asked about the flu:

What can I do to prepare for the flu?

  • Talk with your roommates about what would happen if you develop flu-like symptoms
  • If will not be able to go home if you become ill, identify a Flu-buddy.
  • Talk with your parents and/family about what would happen if you develop flu-like symptoms.
  • Talk with your instructors about procedures for absence notification and making up assignments/exams, if you become ill.
  • Stock up on self-care items for the flu*:
  • Thermometer
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Throat lozenges
  • Decongestant
  • Soft tissues

*These items are available on campus at the Rutgers Pharmacies located in the campus health centers, convenience stores, and some items are available in residence hall vending machines.

Can cleaning my room, apartment or suite help avoid the flu?

To help reduce the chance of spreading the H1N1 influenza virus, the CDC recommends cleaning commonly touched surfaces in shared rooms, apartments and suites (i.e. keyboards, remotes, counters, bathrooms, desk, utensils, microwaves, refrigerators, etc) with one of many commercially available household cleaning and disinfecting products that adequately kill bacteria and viruses, like the H1N1 or other influenza viruses. Products include, but are not limited to: Lysol, Mr. Clean, Pine Sol, Windex, or Clorox cleaners and disinfectants. Remember to use cleaning and disinfecting products according to directions on the product label.

Other Cleaning Recommendations:

  • Wash sheets, towels, and other linens using household laundry detergent and dry on a hot setting.
  • Eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with soap and water.
  • Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those with flu-like illness do not need to be cleaned separately, but these items should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.

Do I have to leave campus if I get sick?

  • It is recommended, but not required, that students who develop flu related symptoms or illnesses leave campus and go to their own homes for care and recuperation.
  • Students who choose to leave campus should travel to their home in a private vehicle and avoid the use of public transportation for the trip home.

What should I do if I develop flu like symptoms?

  • Do NOT go to class, work or other public places until you are fever free (without medication) for 24 hours
  • If at all possible, please go home and stay with your family until you recover.
  • If you live in residence hall or fraternity/sorority house, inform your RA or Chapter President of your illness.
  • Most people with the flu will recover without requiring medical attention. Get plenty of rest, drink fluids and use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce fever and body aches. If you have medical questions or concerns, call Rutgers Health Services at (732) 932-7402 or your personal health care provider.

If you experience any of the following, please seek medical attention immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Serve persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return and/or worsen

Talk with a healthcare provider if you are pregnant or have any ongoing chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or have a suppressed immune system.

What should if I am sick and can’t go home?

  • Tell your RA that you are ill with flu or flu-like symptoms and will be staying on campus.
  • Stay away from others and self-isolate in your residence hall room. Go out only for essential things such as to seek medical help.
  • Contact your Flu-buddy for assistance for obtaining food from the Dining Hall and other supplies you might need as you recuperate from the flu.

What if I need medical assistance when the campus health centers are not open?

  • After hours and on weekends, you can call our RHS Advice Nurse Line at 1-800-890-5882. If you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention call 911 from a campus phone for our Emergency Medical Services and ambulance.

What should I do if my roommate becomes ill?

  • You may go about your normal activities as long as you are well.
  • If you are pregnant or have any ongoing chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or have a suppressed immune system, please contact a healthcare provider.
  • If you live in a residence hall and your ill roommate is unable to leave campus, you may consider speaking with your RA about alternative living space.
  • Avoid face-to-face contact with the sick person.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching the sick person or items they have handled.
  • Monitor yourself for flu-like symptoms

Will my instructors/professors require a doctor’s note if I am sick with the flu?

Dr. Furmanski sent a letter to all faculty noting the importance of flexibility for absences because of the H1N1 illness and requesting that faculty not require a doctor’s note for flu-like illness absences. In addition, faculty were asked to consider whether some element of the course could be accomplished through directed readings, homework, special assignment, online activities, as well as ways to make up work that has been missed. The extent to which this can be accomplished and handled is dependent on the nature of the course.