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Update: UTSA continues to monitor swine flu

(April 28, 2009--12:30 p.m.)--UTSA officials continue to monitor the swine flu situation. All UTSA campuses (Main, Downtown and HemisFair Park) are open and operating on a regular schedule. UTSA President Ricardo Romo has asked the university's Emergency Response Team (ERT) to coordinate updates for the UTSA community.

>> Read information below on updated resources, precautions and HR procedures regarding time off.

These UTSA Web sites are updated as new information is available:

UTSA officials are working closely with local and state officials to monitor information and recommendations related to swine flu. On Sunday, Gov. Rick Perry took the precautionary measure of increasing the Texas request for antiviral medication to 25 percent (850,000 courses) of the Texas allotment from the CDC. The request will augment the more than 840,000 courses of antiviral medication on hand in Texas. (Read more on the Office of the Governor Web site.)

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UTSA Office of Human Resources procedures: Reducing potential for spreading swine flu

From the UTSA Office of Human Resources, the following procedures will help to reduce the potential for spreading the swine flu virus to co-workers or students. For more information regarding leave, refer to the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, Chapter 4.20, Authorized Leave.

Staff and Faculty

  1. If you suspect that you might have the swine flu, do not report to work and seek medical attention immediately.
  2. Do not report to work if you are caring for an ill family member diagnosed with the swine flu.
  3. Contact your supervisor as soon as possible and inform him or her of your need for time off.
  4. Contact Human Resources (HR) Leave Management department at (210) 458-6647 or 458-7874.
  5. Do not return to work (RTW) until medically released to do so and then coordinated through HR Leave Management.

Supervisors

If you are notified that your employee is ill with the flu or caring for an ill family member with the flu, follow this procedure:

  1. Request that your employee contact HR Leave Management at (210) 458-6647 or 458-7874.
  2. Request that the employee stay off work until cleared by his or her physician to return to work and coordinated with HR Leave Management
  3. Contact HR Leave Management immediately and regularly as you receive medical updates from the employee.

NOTE: If an employee exhibits swine flu symptoms, encourage him or her to seek medical attention and allow for the necessary time off to do so. Contact HR Leave Management for assistance.

HR Leave Management

HR Leave Management will coordinate all medical leave of absences by:

  1. Assisting the employee to identify and utilize leave time available
  2. Communicating to the supervisor the approximate length of the employee's absence
  3. Coordinating the employee's release to return to work
  4. Communicating with the supervisor regarding the return to work status of the employee

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Updated Resources

No need for alarm

  • Six cases of swine flu have been reported in Texas, and no deaths from this flu have been reported in the United States. The WHO reports 68 cases of swine flu in the United States. U.S. cases have been mild, however, severe swine flu illnesses and deaths have been reported outside of the country.
  • Swine flu is not caused by eating pork. All of the cases of swine flu in the United States have been transmitted by human-to-human contact.

General flu precautions

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (UTSA housekeeping staff are monitoring soap dispensers in campus restrooms to ensure an ample supply and disinfecting restrooms and door handles across the campuses.)
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough; cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of used tissues. Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid others with respiratory illnesses.
  • Practice other good health habits; eat nutritious foods, get plenty of rest, exercise, manage your stress and drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you are sick, stay home to avoid spreading illness to others.
  • Visit a doctor if you exhibit flu-like symptoms.

Exposure and symptoms

The infectious period for confirmed cases of swine flu is one day before the onset of illness to seven days after the onset of illness. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu:

  • fever of greater than 100 degrees
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • stuffy nose
  • chills
  • headache and body aches
  • fatigue

Some people with swine flu also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. As with seasonal flu, anyone with underlying chronic medical conditions may be more seriously impacted by swine flu.

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