The University of West Georgia’s Pandemic Flu Committee charge is to prepare for the possibility of widespread influenza on campus.

Procedures are in place to minimize the risk of infection, care for those who become ill and maintain a safe campus environment in the event of a high number of faculty, staff and students being affected by the seasonal or Type A (H1N1) influenzas this fall.

Administrators and officials at UWG will continue to coordinate with local and state public health officials as we monitor and respond to any documented cases on campus.

Timely updates concerning the UWG campus will be published on this site, and interested individuals may also visit http://www.flu.gov/  or Georgiadisaster.info for more general information.

  • Mass Inoculation Plan
  • Response Plan
  • University System of Georgia Information
  • Mass Inoculation Plan

    A mass inoculation plan has been prepared for the UWG campus community once more seasonal and Type A flu vaccines have been delivered to campus. The details of the plan will be published here when they are available. Inoculation is recommend by the Centers for Disease Control as the first defense against the flu pandemic. Vaccines have been ordered for students, faculty, staff and their dependents.

  • Response Plan 

    A pandemic is defined as a global disease outbreak. An influenza type pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges with the following characteristics: humans have little or no immunity, the virus causes serious illness and it spreads easily from person-to-person.

    The best known pandemic in recent history occurred in 1918. This pandemic was able to spread across the world in less than two months and caused more than 20 million deaths. That event happened when the fastest means of crossing between continents was by ship. With modern air travel, a pandemic could cross the world in a matter of weeks, again causing millions of deaths.

    The cause for our current concern is that recently discovered strains of avian influenza show the potential to cross over into humans and create a new, deadly influenza strain, to which we have no effective treatment or vaccine. 

    Since December 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) has received reports of confirmed cases of humans infected with avian influenza A (H5N1) in Asia. Although the human cases are thought to have resulted from direct exposure to infected live poultry or their contaminated environment, limited human-to-human transmission may be possible. The exposure of humans to on going poultry outbreaks is a grave concern. It enhances the potential for avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses to undergo genetic changes.  It is also possible for the virus to recombine with human influenza viruses and result in a new virus that is easily transmitted human-to-human, thus triggering an influenza pandemic.

    It is the consensus of the public health community that another pandemic is a matter of when, not if. It has been suggested by public health professionals, based on historical data, that the age group to be most seriously effected will be in the 16 to 24 age group. Though this is not guaranteed, since this age group represents a significant portion of our student population, it is imperative we develop a procedure to assist those who become ill and to protect our personnel who will have to interact with them.

    UWG Pandemic Influenza Response Plan (MS Word)

  • University System of Georgia Information

    The University System of Georgia has been prepared well in advance of the H1N1 arrival in Georgia. When the first reports of the virus were being received, the Emergency Operations Committee started preparing to respond to the challenges posed by the H1N1 Influenza A virus. Institutions had already developed Pan Flu plans as a supplement to their existing emergency action plans. These plans had been reviewed as a part of the initial EOPs plan evaluation a few years ago.

    Following is a brief timeline of those actions:

    • April: Emergency operations coordinators were alerted to the challenges caused by H1N1 and were provided information via the virtual workspace.
      • Work groups at USO were established to develop critical guidance for Human Resource issues, business continuity/alternative course delivery issues for information technology. 
      • Medical advisors were identified to provide accurate, up-to-date information for USG institutions, and continue providing updates and analysis today.
    • May 1: EOPs Coordinators participated in a virtual conference, to receive a briefing on H1N1 and to provide updates as to institutions status. 
      • Phone conference with campus health directors
      • Phone conference with campus residence life directors
    • May 1: Chancellor Davis issued initial guidance to institutions in advance of any information from emergency management agencies and less than 24 hours after the announcement of the first confirmed case reported in Georgia. This guidance was critical as all the USG institutions were on the eve of graduation ceremonies.
    • May 5: As a part of plan reviews, Chancellor Davis notified Presidents of changes/updates to the USG Notifications Plan
    • May 8: Work groups released guidance to institutions on human resource challenges and critical information for maintaining critical technology infrastructure systems. 
    • May 12: Board of Regents briefing conducted as to the current planning, actions and status.
    • June 17: EOPS coordinator meeting was held at MSC. Pan Flu preparations were discussed.
    • July 10: Pan Flu Workshop conducted for USG institutions as well as private institutions and technical colleges
    • July 14: Meeting with RACAA/RACSA to discuss Pan Flu preparations 
    • August 17: Joint BOR-DCH Letter was issued by Chancellor Davis sent to Presidents. 
    • August 24: President Freeman sent additional information to USG Presidents on 
    • EOPS Virtual Emergency Communications Center, in addition to the existing virtual information sharing site, has been launched. Institutions are sharing information via the communication center in reference to H1N1 information. Information includes important resources, training and awareness information as well as status reports. Health Directors and EOPs are able to share information across the system with this platform. 
    • Sep 2 - 3: Two important meetings are scheduled: September 2 a meeting with USG Health Directors and September 3 a virtual conference with EOPs coordinators. Timing for meeting schedules is to coincide with expected final announcements for vaccination status.

    All institutions have existing pandemic flu plans, which include the designation of an institution pandemic response coordinator. Based on the challenges of H1N1, many institutions have adjusted their pan flu plans and continue to meet and talk with campus response/planning committees. Critical information is shared with EOPs Coordinators through the virtual work space and the new emergency virtual communications center is being fully implemented at this time. 

    USG institutions continue to work with health officials in their immediate area, monitor local conditions and increase campus community awareness of simple preventative measures. Some institutions are providing hand sanitizer dispensers in food service areas and restrooms as well as handing out small personal bottles of sanitizer.

    Institutions continue to remain vigilant, share information from reliable, reputable sources and adjust emergency plans as necessary to meet the changing challenges of H1N1.

Preparing For Pandemic Influenza: What Is It and What You Can Do?

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new Influenza A Virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illness and then spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide. The federal government, states, communities and industry are taking steps to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic. A pandemic is likely to be a prolonged and widespread outbreak that could require temporary changes in many areas of society, such as schools, work, transportation and other public services. An informed and prepared public can take appropriate actions to decrease their risk during a pandemic. Type A can be transferred between humans and animals while seasonal flu is passed from person to person.

  • Information for Students
  • Information for Faculty & Staff
  • Information for Parents
  • Information for Students

    An informed and prepared public can take appropriate actions to decrease risk during a pandemic, which is defined as a global disease outbreak.  UWG wants you to stay healthy and safe, so please read the information below and make these habits a part of your lifestyle.

    Suggestions for Influenza Prevention

    The following steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the flu:

    • Practice good health habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest and take these common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze-throw the tissue away immediately after you use it. Avoid using handkerchiefs.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based (60-95%) hand cleaner.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Avoid shaking hands during flu season.
    • If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this way you will help prevent others from catching your illness.
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way. For more information on pandemic flu, go to http://www.pandemicflu.gov/general/ .

    If You Feel Sick

    Students are advised to report to UWG Health Services if they are ill, especially if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms which include fever, dry cough and body aches. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have set the criteria for screening for Type A flu if the individual has a fever of 102 or higher.

    Self-Isolation

    If students, faculty or staff are diagnosed with Type A influenza, the CDC recommends self-isolation, which means no contact with others until there is no fever present for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. UWG encourages students to go home if at all possible for the duration of their illness.

    Self-isolation requires the ill individual to remain in their room and not attend classes or any social functions. Students living on-campus should contact their Resident Advisor for instructions in the event their roommate becomes ill.

    Food Service

    Meals for those students with campus meal plans will be delivered to the ill students while they are observing self-isolation.  Students who have not purchased meal plans may also have meals delivered with a cost per meal. For information concerning meal delivery, contact housing@westga.edu. This service is only for students living in the residences halls. 

    Inoculations

    The seasonal flu vaccine, which is expected to be available in early September, will be administered at the Health Services Center on a first-come, first serve basis. There is no cost for students and a $15 fee for faculty and staff.  Once the Type A flu vaccine is available, expected in mid October, the University’s mass inoculation plan will be implemented to cover all students, faculty, staff and their dependents.  Details of this plan will be posted on this site and widely distributed throughout the campus community.

    Academic Work

    UWG Health Services will provide written confirmation of the diagnosis of flu for students to present to faculty members in order to be excused from classes.  If diagnosed by a private physician, written confirmation should be requested by the student.  Students are responsible for work missed according to each individual faculty member’s policy.

  • Information for Faculty & Staff

    The University of West Georgia’s Pandemic Flu Committee first met three years ago to prepare for the possibility of widespread influenza on campus. Procedures are in place to minimize the risk of infection, care for those who become ill and maintain a safe campus environment in the event of a high number of faculty, staff and students being affected by the seasonal or Type A (H1N1) influenzas this fall.

    UWG will continue to coordinate with local and state public health officials as we monitor and respond to any documented cases on campus. Timely updates concerning the UWG campus will be published on this site and interested individuals may also visit http://www.flu.gov/  or http://georgiadisaster.info/ for more general information. 

    Be a Good Role Model

    Practice good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.  Remind students to also practice good hand hygiene and encourage them to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze then dispose of it in a waste receptacle.

    If You Feel Sick

    You are advised to contact your supervisor and report to your personal physician if you are ill, especially if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms which include fever, dry cough and body aches. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have set the criteria for screening for Type A flu if the individual has a fever of 102 degrees or higher. Stay home if you are sick.

    If you are pregnant, have asthma, diabetes or other conditions that put you at higher risk for complications from the flu, contact your physician immediately if you develop flu-like symptoms.

    Self-Isolation

    If students, faculty or staff are diagnosed with Type A influenza, the CDC recommends self-isolation, which means no contact with others until there is no fever present for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Self-isolation requires the ill individual to remain isolated and not attend classes or any social functions.

    Family Members Who Are Ill

    If you have children, you should have a plan for childcare if your child gets sick or his or her school is dismissed.

    Students Exhibiting Signs of Illness

    Encourage all students who are exhibiting signs of flu or other illness to report to UWG Health Services or their private physician for evaluation. UWG encourages students to go home if at all possible for the duration of their illness to lessen the spread of the disease on campus.

    Absenteeism Rates

    If you notice a major change in class attendance, notify Health Services at 678-839-6452. It is important that we be aware of any concentration of the illness if you feel it appears to spreading through various classes or buildings.

    Academic Work

    UWG Health Services will provide written confirmation of a diagnosis for students to present to faculty members in order to be excused from classes.  If diagnosed by a private physician, written confirmation should be requested by the student.  Students are responsible for work missed according to each individual faculty member’s policy.

    Campus Closing

    According to the UWG Pandemic Influenza Response plan, the Board of Regents may choose to close all institutions simultaneously or provide each President with the authority to do so as his/her campus becomes affected.  If the authority is given to the President, the decision to suspend or close will be made based on information received from various entities/individuals including university personnel with expertise in the field, county, state and national authorities, and other advisories gathered during the pandemic.

    More details shall be provided to staff and faculty in the event of a closing.

  • Information for Parents

    The University of West Georgia’s Pandemic Flu Committee first met three years ago to prepare for the possibility of widespread influenza on campus. Procedures are in place to minimize the risk of infection, care for those who become ill and maintain a safe campus environment for your student in the event of a high number of faculty, staff and students being affected by the seasonal or Type A (H1N1) influenzas this fall.

    Administrators and officials at UWG will continue to coordinate with local and state public health officials as we monitor and respond to any documented cases on campus. Timely updates concerning the UWG campus will be published on this site and interested individuals may also visit http://www.flu.gov/  or Georgiadisaster.info for more general information. 

    UWG Health Services

    Encourage your student to report to UWG Health Services or their private physician if they are ill, especially if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms which include fever, dry cough and body aches. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have set the criteria for screening for Type A flu if the individual has a fever of 102 degrees or higher.

    Self-Isolation

    If students are diagnosed with Type A influenza, the CDC recommends self-isolation, which means no contact with others until there is no fever present for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. UWG encourages students to go home if at all possible for the duration of their illness.

    Self-isolation requires the ill individual to remain in their room and not attend classes or any social functions. Students living on-campus should contact their Resident Advisor for instructions in the event their roommate becomes ill.

    Food Service

    Meals for those students who live in residence halls with campus meal plans will be delivered to the ill students while they are observing self-isolation.  Students who have not purchased meal plans may also have meals delivered to residence halls with a cost per meal. For information concerning meal delivery, contact housing@westga.edu.

    Inoculations

    The seasonal flu vaccine, which is expected by UWG Health Services in early September, will be administered at the Health Services Center on a first-come, first serve basis. There is no cost for students. Once the Type A flu vaccine is available, expected in October, a mass inoculation plan will be implemented to cover all students, faculty, staff and their dependents.  Details of this plan will be posted on this site and will be widely distributed throughout the campus community.

    Academic Work

    While keeping your student healthy during this flu season is a high priority, please remind your student that their academic work must be maintained.  UWG Health Services will provide written confirmation of the diagnosis for students to present to faculty members in order to be excused from classes.  If diagnosed by a private physician, written confirmation should be requested by the student.  Students are responsible for work missed according to each individual faculty member’s policy.

 

  • Prevention Suggestions

    Prevention Suggestions

    The following steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the flu:

    • Practice good health habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest and take these common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze-throw the tissue away immediately after you use it. Avoid using handkerchiefs.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based (60-95%) hand cleaner.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Avoid shaking hands during flu season.
    • If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this way you will help prevent others from catching your illness.
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way. For more information on pandemic flu, go to http://www.pandemicflu.gov/general/ .
  • Residence Living

    Residence Living

    UWG highly encourages student residents with Type A flu to go home and recuperate with family.  If the student is able to go home, they are advised to not return to campus until they have maintained no fever for 24 hours without any medications. The Health Services Patient Advocate (HSPA) will notify Housing and Residence Life (HRL) and the Vice President for Student Affairs of their absence from residence halls and classes is known. 

    Self-Isolation

    If a student is unable to travel home, Health Services will contact Housing for a self-isolation re-assignment. Housing will determine a location to self-isolate resident and deliver Room Key to Health Services. Campus Police will be responsible for picking students up from Health Services and transporting them to their housing assignment where they will acquire minimal belongings and transport them then to their “self isolation” location as determined by Housing.

    Students will be assigned an RLC advocate during the time they are being self isolated.  This individual will follow up with the student daily to assist them in any way possible.  Students will seek permission from their RLC liaison, who will consult with supervising authorities, to return to their normal daily routine.  Permission should not be sought until student has gone 24 hours without a fever and without the assistance of medication.

    Food Service

    Students will complete meal plan request form with Health Services. Health Services will advise residents on how delivery to their door will work and that, to minimize spread, staff will knock and depart area, leaving food outside door for resident to retrieve. Residents will be asked if any allergies exist, so alternative options can be delivered.

    Residents will have option to “accept” the single option menu for that meal or decline it.  Students who accept the single option menu for that day will have that meal delivered during schedule time frame for that meal.  Residents have the option to not accept the single option menu for that meal and decline delivery of food for that meal.

    Residents, who do not have a meal plan, will sign and agree to be billed for meal deliveries that they choose.  A base breakfast, lunch and dinner cost will be established for all meals.  Housing will assume responsibility for billing individual residents.

    Housing will meet Aramark employees and distribute meals to resident rooms. Housing staff will mask and glove themselves when delivering meals. Meals will be delivered to resident door where staff will knock and announce meals are being left outside door.  Staff will leave room area before door is answered.

  • Contamination and Cleansing

    Contamination and Cleansing

    Control of Pandemic Flu Virus on Environmental Surfaces in Homes and Public Places

    This fact sheet explains how cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in homes and public places (like schools) can help to prevent the spread of pandemic influenza (flu). This fact sheet will be updated as needed. - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Flu.gov

    How Flu Viruses Spread

    • A flu pandemic is an outbreak of illness caused by a new flu virus that spreads around the world. Because the virus is new to people, nearly everyone will be at risk of getting it.  
    • The main way that illnesses like colds and flu are spread is from person to person by coughs and sneezes. This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and make contact with the mouth or nose of people nearby. 
    • Droplets from an infected person can also make contact with environmental surfaces (like the tops of tables). The virus can then be spread from those surfaces if a person touches the droplets and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth, or nose before washing his or her hands.  
    • The virus also can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes into his or her hands and then touches a surface (like a phone, remote control, or toy) before washing his or her hands. Another person could become sick if he or she touches that surface and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth, or nose before washing. Flu viruses and other germs can live 2 hours or longer on hard environmental surfaces like tables, doorknobs, and desks. Surfaces are likely to be touched much more often than they can be cleaned and disinfected. Thus, it is important to wash your hands often, keep your hands away from your face, and keep such surfaces clean to help prevent the spread of germs.

    How to Stop the Spread of Pandemic Flu Virus from Environmental Surfaces

    Use good hygiene practices

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; put the used tissue in a waste basket and clean your hands. 
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your upper sleeve (not your hands) if you do not have a tissue and need to cough or sneeze. 
    • Clean your hands as soon as possible after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. 
      • Use soap and water and wash your hands for 15 - 20 seconds; or 
      • Use alcohol-based hand wipes or alcohol-based (60-95% alcohol) gel hand sanitizers; rub these on the hands until the liquid or gel dries.
    • Clean your hands often when you or others are sick, especially if you touch your mouth, nose, and eyes. 
    • Always clean your hands before eating. 
    • Carry alcohol-based hand wipes or alcohol-based (60-95% alcohol) hand-sanitizing gels with you to clean your hands when you are out in public.  
    • Teach your children to use these hygiene practices because germs are often spread at school.

    Clean and disinfect hard surfaces and items in homes and schools

    • Follow label instructions carefully when using disinfectants and cleaners. 
      • Pay attention to any hazard warnings and instructions on the labels for using personal protective items (such as household gloves). 
      • Do not mix disinfectants and cleaners unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so.  Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can be harmful, resulting in serious injury or death. 
    • Keep hard surfaces like kitchen countertops, tabletops, desktops, and bathroom surfaces clean and disinfected. 
      • Clean the surface with a commercial product that is both a detergent (cleans) and a disinfectant (kills germs). These products can be used when surfaces are not visibly dirty. 
      • Another way to do this is to wash the surface with a general household cleaner (soap or detergent), rinse with water, and follow with a disinfectant. This method should be used for visibly dirty surfaces.  
      • Use disinfectants on surfaces that are touched often. Clean the surface as explained above before using disinfectants. 
    • If disinfectants are not available, use a chlorine bleach solution made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart (4 cups) of water; use a cloth to apply this to surfaces and let stand for 3 – 5 minutes before rinsing with clean water. (For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon [16 cups] of water.)
    • Wear gloves to protect your hands when working with strong bleach solutions.
    • Keep surfaces touched by more than one person clean and disinfected. Examples of these surfaces include doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, and microwaves. 
      • Clean with a combination detergent and disinfectant product.  Or use a cleaner first, rinse the surface thoroughly, and then follow with a disinfectant. 
      • Use sanitizer cloths to wipe electronic items that are touched often, such as phones, computers, remote controls, and hand-held games. 
      • Use sanitizer cloths to wipe car door handles, the steering wheel, and the gear shift.

    Use recommended laundry practices

    • Gently gather soiled clothing, bedding, and linens without creating a lot of motion or fluffing; for example, do not shake sheets when removing them from the bed. 
    • Clean your hands after handling soiled laundry items. 
    • Use washing machine cycles, detergents, and laundry additives (like softener) as you normally do; follow label instructions for detergents and additives. 
    • Dry the cleaned laundry items as you normally do, selecting the dryer temperature for the types of fabrics in the load.  Line- or air-drying can be used to dry items when machine drying is not indicated. 
    • Clean your hands before removing clean laundry from the washer or dryer, especially if you have coughed or sneezed on your hands.

    Use recommended waste disposal practices

    • Toss tissues into waste baskets after they have been used for coughs, sneezes, and blowing your nose. 
    • Place waste baskets where they are easy to use. 
    • Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying waste baskets. 
    • Clean your hands after emptying waste baskets.

    Additional Information

    Disinfectant products (sanitizer cloths and liquid disinfectants) available from grocery stores, hardware stores, and commercial cleaning product suppliers have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Always follow label instructions carefully when using these products. For more information about EPA-registered disinfectants, visit www.epa.gov/oppad001/chemregindex.htm. For more information about cleaning and disinfection of surfaces to protect against pandemic influenza virus, consult “Interim Guidance on Environmental Management of Pandemic Influenza Virus.” To learn more about pandemic influenza, visit http://www.flu.gov/.

    * Information provided by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

  • Common Flu Terms

    Flu: Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks. Much of the illness caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination.

    H1N1 Virus (also referred to as Type A): The most common subtype of influenza A, including the swine flu virus. This illness can be transmissible between humans and animals.

    Pandemic: An extreme infectious disease outbreak that affects the entire world. Type A influenza viruses are the only ones known to have cause pandemics.

    Seasonal flu: A respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available. This is also known as the common flu or winter flu.

    Self-Isolation: A strategy used by public health authorities to contain the spread of a contagious illness. Isolation is the separation of people who are sick with a specific illness from healthy people and the restriction of their movement to stop the spread of that illness.

    Vaccination/Inoculation: A preparation consisting of antigens of a disease-causing organism which, when introduced into the body, stimulates the production of specific antibodies or altered cells. This produces an immunity to the disease-causing organism. The antigen in the preparation can be whole disease-causing organisms (killed or weakened) or parts of these organisms.

    For a more in-depth glossary, please visit http://www.pandemicflu.gov/glossary/index.html.

  • Helpful Links

    Georgia Disaster Mental Health
    http://georgiadisaster.info/

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

    Flu.gov
    http://www.flu.gov/

    District 4 Public Health
    http://www.district4health.org/

    Georgia Department of Community Health
    Roll Up Your Sleeves Campaign
    http://dch.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,31446711_148313393,00.html

    Flu Terms Defined
    http://www.pandemicflu.gov/glossary/index.html