Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety Communicable Disease Prevention

2009 H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Information

May 1, 2009
Washington State University is closely monitoring the current influenza outbreak and is preparing for an emergency response should it be necessary. As an additional precaution, we are asking you to help protect yourself and others from acquiring this illness. These precautions are applicable to any form of contagious outbreak. We are also asking for you to improve your department’s emergency response plan.

Protect Yourself and Others

If you or someone you know is returning from an area that has reported cases of H1N1 Influenza (Swine) flu:

  •  Closely monitor your health for 7 days.
  • If you become ill with fever and other symptoms of a flu like cough and sore throat and possibly vomiting and diarrhea during this period, call your doctor or clinic for an appointment right away. Your doctor may test you for influenza and decide whether influenza antiviral treatment is indicated.
  • When you make the appointment, tell the doctor the following:
    • Your symptoms,
    • Where you traveled, and
    • If you have had close contact with a person infected with H1N1 flu.
  • Avoid leaving your home while sick except to get local medical care, or as instructed by your doctor. Do not go to work or school while you are ill. If you must leave your home (for example, to seek medical care) wear a surgical mask to keep from spreading your illness to others.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues in a trash can.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with other people as much as possible.
  • Wear a surgical mask if you are in contact with other people.

WSU Officials, in conjunction with local Public Health Authorities, are asking that you observe the follow precautions:

  •  If you are ill with a respiratory condition that includes fever and a cough, do not attend the graduation ceremony or other gatherings with crowds. Please stay home if you are ill.
  • Cover you cough with your sleeve or a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately in a trash receptacle.
  • Wash your hands frequently. When soap and water is not available, carry a waterless, alcohol-based hand cleanser. Use it often.
  • Avoid touching your hands to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Shaking hands is a common custom for greeting and congratulating friends and family. However, this practice spreads germs. It is actually safer to give a hug.
  • Medically fragile populations, such as those with chronic diseases or the elderly, may want to avoid crowds to limit their potential for exposure to viral illnesses and the flu.

US Centers for Disease Control:

General Information

Travel Warnings

CDC/USDA Swine Influenza in Pigs and People fact sheet:

Washington State Department of Health:

Update Your Department’s Emergency Response PlanWSU is also asking that you update your department’s emergency response plans to include influenza outbreaks and pandemic. A link to the guide “Preparing for a Pandemic or Major Infectious Disease Outbreak at Washington State University” is available to assist departments to improve their plans.

Washington State University

Emergency Management Office and WSU Alert:

Health and Wellness Services:

Environmental Health and Safety:

Questions and requests for assistance may be directed to the

  • WSU Emergency Management Office 335-5524
  • Health and Wellness Services 335-Health and Wellness Services 335-3575
  • Environmental Health and Safety 335-3041

WSU units should also consider preparing a Continuance of Operations Plan. A template for preparing a Continuance of Operations Plan can be found at this link: