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Health / Safety

Swine flu (H1N1) update

April 29, 2009

As news of the current outbreak of H1N1 flu, also being called "swine flu," continues to unfold, CSU's Public Safety Team is monitoring the situation closely and will keep the campus updated on any changes that potentially would affect the day-to-day operations of the University.

No cause for heightened concern on campus

At this time, there is no cause for heightened concern on campus, although we encourage everyone to take the usual precautions to stay healthy during flu season: wash your hands regularly, stay home if you feel sick, and cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze.

Updates regarding H1N1 flu will be posted on the University’s safety website at www.safety.colostate.edu. While local health officials have not reported any local health incidents, CSU is working closely with health department officials from Larimer County and the state of Colorado who are watching closely for any potential local cases.

University health and safety staff are well prepared to manage this and other types of emergency situations that potentially could affect our campus. Following is some background information that might help address questions you have about campus flu planning.

Flu plan

Approximately two years ago, CSU completed a comprehensive pandemic flu plan. While this current situation with H1N1 is not considered a pandemic, the University’s pandemic plan is useful in addressing the current situation and preparing for possibilities should cases of this flu be reported locally or on campus. A copy of the University’s plan is available for review at www.safety.colostate.edu.

Should an outbreak eventually occur in Larimer County, University health and safety officials will work with county and health officials and follow guidelines set forth by the Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment. In the event the University were to make decisions about cancelling classes, suspending public events, or taking other precautionary measures based on the pandemic plan and recommendations from local health officials, the CSU community would be notified through:

  • The University’s website at www.colostate.edu, and the Safety site at www.safety.colostate.edu.
  • E-mails from the Public Safety Team to all students, faculty, and staff in the university community.
  • The University’s information line (snow line) at (970) 491-7669.
  • Text messages via the text alert system, where appropriate.
  • Updates via local news media.

Preventative measures

At this point, the Public Safety Team is highly recommending the following preventative measures outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, particularly after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze. Use a facial tissue to cover your cough or sneeze rather than using your hands, or cough or sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of used facial tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face, including eyes or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

These are good health measures to follow at this or any other time, and as a member of the University community, please take responsibility for your own health and the health of others by following these precautions.

H1N1 flu symptoms and transmission

According to health officials, the current H1N1 outbreak is spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing or through contact with droplets on surfaces such as doorknobs. Health officials note individuals cannot catch this flu by eating pork products or being in contact with live swine in the United States. Currently there is no evidence that this strain of flu can be passed to people through contact with live swine in the United States.

Symptoms of this flu are typical and include:

  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose and cough
  • fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • chills
  • muscle aches and headaches
  • fatigue

This flu may also include the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.

Up-to-date sources of flu health information

For the most up-to-date and accurate health information about this flu, we recommend the following sources:

  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment hotline, open between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-877-462-2911.
  • The Centers for Disease Control website, which is regularly updated, at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website at www.cdphe.state.co.us.

Students with any health concern questions should visit Hartshorn Health Services on campus, or call Hartshorn staff at (970) 491- 7121.

Personal and family preparedness

Local health officials remind us that this is a good time to think about personal and family preparedness for this or any other potential emergency. Some very useful information about this topic is available online at www.readycolorado.com

The University’s Public Safety Team will continue to monitor the situation, and will inform campus if there are significant concerns or additional precautions advised regarding swine flu.


Contact: Brad Bohlander
E-mail: Brad.Bohlander@colostate.edu