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Today is Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Free H1N1 shots available to faculty, staff and students

Last Update: Jan. 8, 2010

President Spaniolo getting a seasonal flu shot

President James D. Spaniolo receives a seasonal flu shot from Romelee Harris, nursing supervisor for Health Services, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.

UT Arlington Health Services Center continues to offer free H1N1 flu shots to all members of the University community -- faculty, staff and students -- at the campus clinic, 605 S. West St. The immunization clinic hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Vaccinations are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the supply is exhausted. No appointments are needed.

Tarrant County Public Health also is providing free H1N1 shots to all Tarrant County residents at 12 locations. The closest site to campus is the Arlington Public Health Center, 536 W. Randol Mill Road, near North Cooper Street. Dallas County Health & Human Services is offering free H1N1 vaccine to Dallas County residents.

To date, UT Arlington has not experienced a significant outbreak of the H1N1 flu on campus, though sporadic incidents have been reported since the virus appeared in our communities last spring.

The University encourages students, faculty and staff to remain vigilant in taking precautions to fight the spread of flu. Measures include washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home or getting a ride home from campus if you are ill and considering getting the H1N1 vaccine.

Health officials have said that pregnant women, very young children, those with chronic health conditions and those 24 and younger are particularly at risk of contracting the H1N1 flu strain. More information about the illness is available from the Centers for Disease Control.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is UT Arlington doing to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus on campus?

  • We are working to educate our students, faculty and staff about ways they can help prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus through hygiene posters, direct e-mail newsletters, the University's Web site, external media and other forms of communication.
  • The UT Arlington Health Services clinic will make medications available to treat flu symptoms. Health Services is making H1N1 vaccine doses available to our community.
  • We will monitor incidents of flu-like symptoms through the UT Arlington Health Service clinic, where students may see a physician, and through our Office of Human Resources for employees who voluntary report that they have flu-like system.
  • The Office of Facilities Management has placed 60 hand sanitizer stations in locations where large groups congregate, such as the Maverick Activities Center, lecture halls, the Central Library and the E.H. Hereford University Center.

How can I protect myself or my student against the H1N1 flu virus?

Flu viruses are spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a well person and the well person inhales droplets containing the virus. Some people are infected by touching a surface or object with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Avoid getting ill by:

  • Washing hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Carry your own hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Hand hygiene is essential to preventing the spread of flu.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough into the crook of your elbow. Wash hands after coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Do not go to work or class when you are ill or running a fever. Students who live on campus should contact a family member or a friend to arrange a ride home. Social distancing is effective at preventing larger populations from becoming ill.

What treatment is UT Arlington Health Services offering for flu-like symptoms? 

Anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including a high fever, is encouraged to see a physician as soon as possible. Anyone with a chronic health condition, such as asthma or diabetes, is considered at risk of developing a more serious, flu-related illness. Anti-viral medications, such as Tamiflu, may be prescribed for those with chronic health conditions and flu-like symptoms. But anti-viral medications work best when administered within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Anti-viral medications are not a cure, but they often lessen the severity or duration of flu symptoms.

How will I find out about H1N1 developments on campus?

This page will contain the most current information. Timely updates will be provided through University e-newsletters, MavWire for faculty and staff and TrailBlazer for students. More pressing information will be conveyed by e-mail through special MavWire and TrailBlazer editions.

Emergency information is distributed through the MavAlert e-mail, voice mail and text messaging system. It is imperative that students, faculty and staff register all communication devices annually.

Do I need a separate shot to protect me against the H1N1 virus? When will it be available?

Yes, the H1N1 vaccine is separate from the seasonal flu vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine is now available to all Tarrant County residents for free at area public health clinics. UT Arlington received doses of vaccine in early December and is distributing them through the Health Services Center.

What are the symptoms of the H1N1 flu?

Like seasonal flu, the symptoms usually start suddenly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1.

If I feel sick, what should I do?

With the onset of flu-like symptoms, UT Arlington students, faculty and staff should seek medical care immediately and minimize contact with others. If you are a UT Arlington student, you are urged to contact the UT Arlington Health Services clinic at www.uta.edu/healthservices or by phone at 817-272-2771. The clinic is at 605 S. West St.

If you are a student, you are encouraged to return home and stay away from campus until you are fever-free for 24 hours. If that is not an option, the University will help find campus quarters for you during your illness.

If you are a member of the UT Arlington faculty or staff and are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please seek medical care from your physician and do not return to work until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is necessary.

What should I do if I suspect someone is ill with the flu?

Urge the person to contact either UT Arlington Health Services or their physician to be evaluated.

What kind of supplies should college students have on hand if they experience flu-like symptoms?

Tylenol or Ibuprofen, tissues, anti-bacterial hand soap, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and instant soup are good supplies to bring to college.

What happens if I am diagnosed with H1N1 and I have no more accrued sick leave or other paid leave available to use?

If you have exhausted all paid leave, you may be eligible to apply for the Sick Leave Pool. You may complete the application and the Certification of Healthcare Provider form (pdf) or call 817-272-5554 and the forms will be sent to you.

What will happen if a UT Arlington student, staff or faculty member tests positive for H1N1?

The University will respond according to the severity of the situation. To date, the University has not suspended any events or classes this year related to the H1N1 virus.

How is the University tracking flu-related absences among students and employees?

The University respects student and employee privacy in monitoring H1N1 cases. The Health Services Center monitors influenza testing through the campus clinic. The Office of Human Resources asks that employee absences related to influenza-like illness be reported to Human Resources via e-mail at benefits@uta.edu. This notification of absence should include only the name of the department in which a faculty or staff member works and the date of the first day he or she is out sick. Do not include any employee names in the e-mail. A representative from Human Resources will follow up with you for additional information.

What if I am an employee and my child's school closes because of H1N1 flu?

Consult your supervisor immediately. It may be possible for you to telecommute. If it is not possible, you may request to use accrued vacation or compensatory time. If you do not have leave available, follow your department's typical process for requesting time off without pay. Refer to the University's Leave of Absence policy (HR Procedure 3-61) for guidance.

What will UT Arlington do for residence halls and other buildings where students congregate to prevent an H1N1 flu outbreak?

Hand sanitizer dispensers and pump bottles are available across campus and particularly in areas where large numbers of students congregated. Educational posters urging handwashing, cough and sneeze covering and vaccination are posted in restrooms and common areas. Campus housing crews will intensify cleaning procedures in response to any outbreak.

If I become sick, how will I get my meals if I am on a meal plan and am not suppose to leave my residence hall or apartment?

Notify your residence assistant and contact the Student Emergency Meal Line at 817-272-9444, preferably the night before, to request a meal that will be delivered to your campus residence.

What happens if I become ill and cannot attend class?

Faculty are encouraged to be flexible and fair with students who miss extended class dates because they have the flu. Students who are ill should contact their professor or instructor to make arrangements to complete missed work.

Is the University prepared for a large-scale flu outbreak?

UT Arlington has an emergency management plan and a specific pandemic flu response plan. The University implemented and practiced its protocols during the spring H1N1 outbreak and is prepared to respond to any larger incident.

Has the University issued any travel restrictions?

No travel restrictions are in place at this time. Any changes will be communicated quickly to students, faculty and staff.

UT Arlington Resources

Regional and Community Resources

Additional Information

UT Arlington Flu Advisory Archive

UT Arlington Emergency Information Hotline
1-866-258-4913