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UNO H1N1 Flu Information

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Student Health | UNO

This page is the repository of UNO's H1N1 Flu information and news. Below you will find announcements, university policies and FAQs concerning the H1N1 Flu virus.

NU System H1N1 Flu Policy

The University of Nebraska has adopted a system-wide policy for the H1N1 seasonal flu. It encourages all faculty, staff and students to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control in order to minimize the risk of becoming sick. It also provides work and attendance rules for those who become ill.

"Please take a moment to become familiar with this document and should you have questions, please contact Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Student Health Services or your supervisor," said John Christensen, UNO chancellor.


Cold vs. Flu

Cold vs. Flu Chart
H1N1 Frequently Asked Questions

General Statement

UNO officials have spent months planning for an outbreak of this kind. UNO has task forces assigned to caring for students, faculty and staff, and educating our campus community. Our on-campus student health services works closely with the Douglas County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control as we move through the outbreak.

Our students who live on campus have received travel-size “flu kits” to use should they feel ill. Vaccines for H1N1, as well as for seasonal flu, will begin arriving on campus in October. UNO is aware of the impact of the H1N1 virus, but reminds our campus community that they are the first line of defense. We encourage students, faculty and staff to stay home if they feel ill.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I avoid becoming ill with H1N1 (Swine Flu)?
  2. What do you mean stay home if I'm sick?
  3. What is a "flu-buddy"?
  4. What are examples of "chronic medical conditions" referred to in the vaccine medical groups?
  5. Can I get H1N1 (Swine Flu) more than once?
  6. How will I know if I have H1N1 (Swine Flu) or the seasonal flu?
  7. Does everyone with flu symptoms need to see a doctor?
  8. If I do become ill, how will I know when I'm OK to return to school or work?
  9. After a known exposure, how long do I have before I become ill?
  10. Why not take an antibiotic for prevention or to help my symptoms?
  11. What is "social distancing," and how can it help me avoid getting sick?
  12. What are the symptoms of H1N1 (Swine Flu)?
  13. Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against the 2009 H1N1 (Swine) flu?
  14. Do those that have been previously vaccinated against the 1976 swine influenza need to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 swine influenza?
  15. Am I required to get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine?
  16. How much do the vaccines cost?
  17. If I am an University of Nebraska at Omaha employee, and think I have H1N1 swine flu, what am I required to do?
  18. What if I am a University of Nebraska at Omaha employee who has no sick leave balance?
  19. Who are the "high risk" people for H1N1?
  20. How many shots will I need to protect myself from H1N1 Swine Flu?
  21. Can I get both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine at the same time?
  22. Helpful Web sites

1. How do I avoid becoming ill with H1N1 (Swine Flu)?

Complete isolation is the only way to avoid the H1N1 virus. The organism is everywhere there are people.

Some helpful tips:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Keep your hands away from your face
  • Stay home if you are sick

Work at keeping your immune system in top order:

  • Avoid smoke
  • Do not share food or eating utensils
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • If you are a diabetic, work at keeping your blood sugar at the correct level

2. What do you mean "stay home" if I'm sick?

This means that you need to self-isolate, or stay away from other people.

  • Do not leave your house – that means no stops at the grocery store – unless you are seeking medical care
  • Wear a mask if you need to be with others in your place of residence

3. What is a "flu-buddy"?

This is a trusted friend that is willing to check in on you when you are self-isolated. They can assist with getting you food and other supplies while you are at home.

4. What are examples of "chronic medical conditions" referred to in the vaccine medical groups?

Some examples are:

  • Lung problems, including asthma
  • Metabolic disorders, including diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disorders, except hypertension
  • Blood disorders
  • A suppressed immune system caused by medication or disease

5. Can I get H1N1 (Swine Flu) more than once?

No! Since H1N1 is a viral illness, once you have the sickness you will not get it again.

6. How will I know if I have H1N1 (Swine Flu) or the seasonal flu?

While you may exhibit symptoms that resemble the flu, you may never really know for sure as laboratory confirmation is only being done on hospitalized individuals.

7. Does everyone with flu symptoms need to see a doctor?

No! The majority of healthy people who become ill will recover without the need of professional care.

8. If I do become ill, how will I know when I'm OK to return to school or work?

When you no longer have a fever for a full 24 hours. This means fever-free without the aid of acetaminophen or ibuprophen. You may return with a lingering cough.

9. After a known exposure, how long do I have before I become ill?

It is important to know that the major time people are contagious is before they recognize they are ill. The virus can take up to three days to develop in your body before you would become ill. For people with weakened immune systems, the time might be shorter.

10. Why not take an antibiotic for prevention or to help my symptoms?

This is a viral disorder, which means that antibiotics will not impact the H1N1 (Swine Flu) organism. Some very ill patients will have antibiotics ordered because the excessive activity in their lungs will cause pneumonia as a second infection. These will be severely ill individuals with breathing difficulty.

11. What is "social distancing," and how can it help me avoid getting sick?

Social distancing is a very effective way to help protect you from illness. You should keep a four to five foot distance when you speak with someone or when you are standing in a line. That distance helps you avoid sputum (spit) droplets that naturally occur with normal speaking or singing.

12. What are the symptoms of H1N1 (Swine Flu)?

Typical symptoms to watch for are similar to those common with seasonal viruses and include:

  • A fever over 100.4 degrees F or 38 degrees C
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose

Some people might also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

13. Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against the H1N1 (Swine) Flu?

No. The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the current H1N1 (Swine) Flu.

14. Do those that have been previously vaccinated against the 1976 Swine influenza need to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 Swine influenza?

Yes, the 1976 swine flu virus and the 2009 H1N1 swine flu virus are different enough that it is unlikely a person vaccinated in 1976 will have full protection.

15. Am I required to get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine?

No! People are encouraged to get the vaccine to prevent becoming ill, but no one is required to do so. You may be asked by your supervisor to sign a declaration if you refuse. This document demonstrates that you were offered the preventive treatment.

16. How much do the vaccines cost?

The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine is being provided to high-risk populations for free. The clinics providing the vaccine are allowed to add administration charges to cover their costs associated with administering injected medications.

17. If I am an University of Nebraska at Omaha employee, and think I have H1N1 swine flu, what am I required to do?

You should:

  • Remain home until your temperature is below 100.4 for 24 hours
  • Call your immediate supervisor to inform him or her that you believe you have H1N1 swine flu
  • Fill out an appropriate time record requesting sick leave if a positive balance exists or request up to 40 hours of advance sick leave

18. What if I am a University of Nebraska at Omaha employee who has no sick leave balance?

You may request approval from your supervisor for 40 hours of advanced sick leave, paid time from the crisis leave program, vacation time or leave without pay.

19. Who are the "high risk" people for H1N1?

Anyone on this list is a high risk person:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Health care and emergency personnel
  • Persons between he ages of 6 months and 24 years old
  • People from the ages of 25 to 64 who suffer from chronic health disorders

20. How many shots will I need to protect myself from H1N1 Swine Flu?

Adults will need one (1) H1N1 vaccination. This vaccination can be administered on the same day as your regular seasonal flu vaccination.

21. Can I get both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine at the same time?

Yes, but it will require an injection in each arm.

Helpful Web sites:

Content last modified: November 02, 2010, 10:38am