Cases of novel H1N1 flu have been confirmed in Tennessee. Currently, the influenza pandemic alert level is Phase 6, indicating the beginning of a pandemic. The raising of the alert level reflects the spread of the virus – it does not reflect the severity of the illness.
Student Health and Counseling Services continues to work with local Department of Health officials to respond to the outbreak in Tennessee and inform the campus community of way to prevent the flu. Symptoms of novel H1N1 flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with novel H1N1 flu
The most recent guidelines from the CDC recommend the following:
- Persons with a flu-like illness who wish to seek medical care should contact Student Health and Counseling Services or their health care provider to report illness by telephone before seeking care. If you contact us, you will receive instructions about what you should do.
- Students or staff who live either on or off campus and who have an influenza like illness should self-isolate. In other words, you should stay away from others in your dorm room or home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- Persons with Influenza-like illness who must leave their home or dorm room should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. A surgical loose-fitting mask can be helpful for persons who have access to these, but a tissue or other covering is appropriate as well.
You can help keep our campus healthy by taking the following precautions recommended by the CDC:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to stay in good general health.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
We will continue to monitor developments and provide up to date information to the campus community. Please check the website and the UTM portal frequently for updates and feel free to contact our office with any questions. If we all work together, we can help maintain a healthy campus environment!
Detailed information including up to date statistics on confirmed cases can be found at:
For access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information:
U.S. Department of State – Travel Alert
For H1N1 flu information for Tennessee Residents:
Information about novel H1N1 flu from the World Health Organization: