Frequently Asked Questions
The health and safety of our Southeast Technical Institute students remains our utmost concern. Therefore, we are providing the following questions and answers regarding the H1N1 virus and STI’s response to this health issue.
What is H1N1?
H1N1 (sometimes referred to as “swine flu”) is a virus that affects the respiratory system. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.
How is it spread?
Coughing or sneezing are two of the most common ways the virus is spread, or when people touch items that have flu viruses on them, and then touch their mouths or noses. The virus can linger on a surface for up to 48 hours.
What can I do to protect myself from getting H1N1?
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:
1) Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice), especially after you cough or sneeze. This is the most important action you can take. Alcohol-based cleaners are also effective.
2) Keep yourself healthy! Eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and plenty of rest.
3) Be prepared! Have basic self-care supplies on hand including a thermometer, acetaminophen or ibuprofen, lots of hand soap, cleaning supplies to wipe down desks, sinks, computer keyboards, etc. In addition, carry your health insurance card (if you have one) and know how to use it in the event that you need medical attention.
4) Consider the flu vaccination. Make a decision about getting flu vaccinations-both H1N1 and influenza.
5) Consider your medical condition-such as asthma or diabetes-you are at a higher risk for complications from the flu and may be particularly vulnerable to the H1N1 strain.
6) Speak to your health care provider if you have additional concerns.
What if I develop flu-like symptoms?
1) Stay away from others if you experience flu-like symptoms to prevent others from getting sick. If you are sick, avoid close contact with others—do not attend class, STI activities or work.
2) Seek medical assistance as needed.
3) If you live in STI Housing, contact the Housing Staff to let them know you are ill.
4) Go home if you can for the duration of the time that you are ill. This will provide you support while you are ill and will reduce the spread of the virus to others on campus.
5) Return to classes only after you have had no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
6) Contact the Student Success Center by email email@example.com or phone 605.367.7466 if you have H1N1 or influenza or if you are unsure what to do or where to go for assistance.
7) Contact your instructors whenever you will miss a class, especially if you will be gone for an extended absence.
How is STI monitoring and preparing for the H1N1 virus?
STI will continue to closely follow CDC guidelines and work with public health authorities to make sure that we are doing everything possible to keep our students healthy should another outbreak of H1N1 occur.
STI has developed the following preparedness statement and actions regarding the H1N1 virus:
Educating Our Students
- Send email to students detailing:
- Serious nature of the H1N1 and Influenza viruses
- Typical Symptoms
- Importance of communication
- Tips for avoiding exposure
- Provide ‘Tips’ flyer for minimizing risk to others
- Post flyers in public areas & public restrooms
- Address H1N1/Influenza in Student Success Seminar courses
Minimizing Risk of Exposure
- Disinfect door handles and crash bars on building entrances daily
- Disinfect handrails daily
- Disinfect elevator control panels daily
- Disinfect light switches daily
- Disinfect public restrooms daily
- Disinfect vending machine front panels daily
- Provide hand sanitizer in public and office areas
Provide Opportunities for Immunizations
- Work with the City of Sioux Falls to provide opportunities for students to receive H1N1 and influenza vaccinations
Reaction Plan for Possible Exposure
- Ask all students to immediately report H1N1/influenza cases to the Student Success Center by phone 605.367.7466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help ensure students receive proper medical attention
- Strongly encourage confirmed H1N1/Influenza cases to go ‘home’ if at all possible – if not possible, encourage students to isolate themselves from others while they are ill
- Encourage students to not return to classes until they have been without a fever for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications
- Communicate with STI students as needed regarding future concerns as they arise
Does STI offer seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines?
STI has offered vaccinations on campus in the past, and if possible, will try to do so in the future. More information will be sent to students via email when the information is available.
If I have additional questions, who should I contact?
Call STI’s Student Success Center at 605.367.7466 or email the center at email@example.com