H1N1 Information for
Charles River Faculty & Staff
The purpose of this communication is to inform you of the steps being taken
by Boston University to prepare for the possibly of an outbreak of the H1N1
(Influenza A) flu.
As you probably know, there is growing concern about the H1N1 flu. Officials
at all levels of government and health agencies are recommending
precautionary steps for employers and employees to follow in order to prevent
the spread of any Influenza Like Illness (ILI). I want to reassure you that
the University leadership has undertaken a number of steps to prepare for the
possibility of a flu outbreak. We have been monitoring the situation closely
and are observing the guidance being provided by federal, state, and local
health officials. For the past several years, the University’s Pandemic Flu
Task Force, under my leadership and made up of representatives from all parts
of the University, including strong representation from the School of
Medicine and School of Public Health, has met to develop plans that will
enable the University to address a pandemic flu, should one arise.
Dr. David Mc Bride, Director of Student Health Services, will oversee the
University’s overall response while continuing to serve our student
population. You should visit the Student Health Services website for the most
up to date information at http://www.bu.edu/shs.
Boston University’s Occupational Health Center expects to receive a
sufficient number of seasonal flu vaccine doses early next week. As soon as the
vaccine arrives, Occupational Health will send a notice to all faculty and
staff on the Charles River Campus detailing the dates and times when free flu
shot clinics will be offered. I urge each of you, if your health status
permits, to obtain the seasonal flu shot this year as a precautionary
The University will carefully follow the protocols that have been recommended
by health officials to employers for managing absences of those employees who
may be impacted by the H1N1 flu. Generally, the advice is to be
flexible in handling employee absences due to flu-related personal illness,
illness of a family member, or concerns related to employees who have medical
conditions which place them in high risk categories.
Public Health authorities recommend that anyone who is ill with flu-related
symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose should stay at home
to avoid exposing others to infection. It is recommended that you also:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and
water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Boston University has made
available numerous hand sanitizer dispensers across campus.
- Avoid touching your face as this can
transfer germs from your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth.
- If you cough or sneeze, do so into your
sleeve or into a tissue. Do not cough or sneeze into your hands if
possible, as this will allow you to transmit an infection to surfaces
with which you come in contact.
- Plan to receive a seasonal flu vaccine.
- If you become ill while you are at work,
you should avoid contact with coworkers, notify your supervisor, and
return to your home immediately.
- You should remain at home until 24 hours
after your fever subsides.
- To the extent possible, supervisors should
review essential functions and develop plans for business continuity by
identifying back-up personnel to assume these duties in the event of
wide-spread illness. Supervisors should also explore areas where it is
feasible for essential work to be done remotely or through
Boston University will
provide timely communications through BU Today and through postings on
various University websites.
For more details related
to employee attendance concerns and links to information on H1N1 Influenza A,
please go to the Human Resources website http://www.bu.edu/hr
or to Boston University's H1N1 information page at http://www.bu.edu/info/h1n1.
Vice President for