Swine Flu (H1N1) Information
University representatives are in close contact with the Richmond and Columbia County's Health Departments, State and County Emergency officials, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This site will be updated as new information develops.
Pandemic Flu Planning Committee:
- Dr. Joyce Jones, vice president for student services & chair
- Dr. William A. Dodd, associate vice president for academic affairs
- Ms. Therese Rosier, assistant vice president for physical plant
- Ms. Kathy Schofe, director of public relations
- Ms. Katherine Sweeney, registrar and director of admissions
- Mr. Jasper Cooke, director of public safety
- Mr. Chip Matson, director of information technology services
- Mr. Walt Alexanderson, director of human resources
Is the campus prepared for emergencies?
Augusta State's pandemic flu plan is part of a comprehensive emergency management program. It includes a formal emergency operations plan for preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. University officials regularly participate in emergency management training sessions and exercises.
How will the university communicate with students, faculty and staff during a pandemic emergency?
A communications plan has been developed to use every channel available website, emails, texting, printed materials, TV and radio, social network sites, and Jaguar Alerts. If you have not signed up for the emergency alert system, go to JaguarAlert.
How do I keep up to date on the Swine Flu?
For the latest information on the outbreak, go to www.flu.gov The university also will be posting the latest information that affects the ASU community.
Has the university changed any of its regular operations?
Not at this time. There have been no changes to university operations or activities. Should there be changes, updated information will be posted on the university's main webpage as well as on the www.aug.edu/flu website.
How would Augusta State decide to cancel events or classes?
Augusta State will take its lead from public health agencies, the CDC, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, and the actions of the two primary public school systems, Richmond and Columbia counties. At this time, the primary focus of Augusta State is on preventing the spread of the virus by educating our community on cough etiquette and hand health.
What role does public health departments play in the university's response?
During a declared public health emergency, it is the responsibility of the public health departments at the county and state levels to issue comprehensive orders, direct cancellation of mass gathering events or closures of facilities, designate key healthcare facilities and distribute anti-viral medications. This authority encompasses all private citizens, businesses and campus operations.
A co-worker went home sick and we have been told he/she has the H1N1 swine flu. What should we do?
The H1N1 influenza virus should be treated like any other influenza; special precautions or actions are not necessary at this time.
If a number of people were exposed to the co-worker who is sick, should they go home?
Everyone should come to work or class as usual as long as they do not have flu-like symptoms, even if they may have been exposed to the influenza virus through contact with someone who is ill.
We want to sanitize or decontaminate his/her work area. What is the best way to do that?
Cleaning beyond your normal custodial routine is not considered necessary. The virus does not travel through HVAC systems and it does not live on surfaces for longer than a few hours. Using antibacterial wipes on shared keyboards, phones, and doorknobs is a good practice to prevent the spread of any virus or bacteria.
Should I get a facemask and wear it? Should everyone be wearing a face mask?
Facemasks are not being recommended for healthy people. On the other hand, a facemask can prevent someone who is ill from spreading the virus when they cough or sneeze. If you have an influenza-like illness, you should STAY HOME. If you do have to go out, wear a face mask to protect others.
What are the symptoms of H1N1 flu? What symptoms should I look for in myself?
The symptoms of H1N1 appear to be similar to the seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. People infected with the H1N1 virus also have experienced diarrhea and vomiting.
What should I do if I feel sick? When is it safe to come back to work?
Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms of influenza-like illness, contact your physician and stay home for at least for 24 hours after symptoms go away. If your symptoms persist more than 7 days, contact your physician.
Isn't the H1N1 swine flu more serious than the regular flu? Why are so many people getting sick?
H1N1 influenza is different than the seasonal flu because it is a novel (new) virus that has not existed previously, and people have not developed immunity.
Is there anything I can do to protect myself?
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People may become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose. The best thing you can do is follow good health hygiene rules:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and throw the tissue away after you use it. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into clothing -- i.e. your sleeve rather than your bare hands. (For a lighthearted and correct lesson in the proper ways to cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs and viruses spread that way.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Can't I just go get a flu shot?
Contact the health department or your personal physician for information on flu shots. When H1N1 vaccine becomes available, the ASU Department of Nursing expects to have a limited supply available. Reserve your vaccine by calling the nursing department at 70-737-1725. Flu Shot: free with valid ASU ID; $5, general public.