H1N1 flu information from UNC Health Care
All of our employees at UNC Health Care are being strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against both the seasonal flu and the novel 2009 H1N1 flu (the latter once we have supplies available later in October 2009).
For your health and safety and that of your family and friends, we also encourage you to have your family immunized against both the seasonal and novel H1N1 flu. Visit this site for updates and note the links to further details regarding influenza below.
UNC Hospitals also has had a policy that restricts visitors 12 years old and under from certain clinical units (the Newborn Critical Care Center, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the Labor and Delivery Unit). Due to the widespread transmission of novel H1N1 influenza in our community and the fact that the highest attack rate is among children, effective Oct. 5, 2009, UNC Hospitals will prohibit all children 12 and under from visiting in inpatient clinical areas.
In order to prevent transmission of flu viruses, we advise everyone to wash their hands frequently. This is a simple and effective way to prevent transmission of influenza viruses and many other common illnesses. This video from the CDC provides additional helpful information.
In addition, we are advising members of the public who are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, chills, body aches, cough, runny or stuffy nose, diarrhea, vomiting and headache) to do the following:
- If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, please stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after your fever has gone away. Most people will recover completely from the flu within five days and won't need to see a health care provider.
- If you are in a high-risk group and develop flu-like symptoms, please contact your primary care doctor for treatment. The following are considered to be high-risk groups: children less than five years old, pregnant women, adults and children who have chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems, persons aged 65 years or older, residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.
- Please do not come to our Emergency Department to seek treatment. In most cases people with flu-like symptoms do not need to be seen in the Emergency Department and will not benefit from a trip there. However, their presence in the Emergency Department could put other patients, such as those with weakened immune systems, at risk.
- There are some circumstances in which a trip to the Emergency Department is warranted. If you have any of the following potentially life-threatening symptoms while battling the flu, immediately contact your health care provider or go to the closest Emergency Department: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, flu symptoms that initially improve but then return with cough and fever. Infants should be taken immediately to the Emergency Department if there is a bluish or gray skin color, lack of responsiveness, or extreme irritability.
- If you have further questions, please call your primary care provider or review the links provided below.
For a detailed question and answer document on H1N1 flu, click here.
For additional information about the novel 2009 H1N1 pandemic (swine) flu, please visit these sites:
- UNC Health Sciences Library H1N1 (Swine) Flu Resources page
- UNC H1N1 Flu Updates page
- CDC 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) page