Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) Resources and FAQs


Fight the Flu Flier (above)
Wash Your Hands PDF

What Everyone Can Do to Stay Healthy

  • Stay informed. The CDC web site will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

Take everyday actions to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.



Other Helpful Links

Campus Resources

Important Quick Links

Situation Update

Flu Vaccine Update 4/16/10

It's not too late! Seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations are now available by appointment only. Please call the Specialty Clinic at 643-7177 to schedule an appointment.

Click here for more details, FAQs and updates on the 2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza Vaccines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


I think I may have the flu. What should I do?
The most common symptoms of flu illnesses are the sudden onset of high fever, cough, and fatigue. Headaches and body aches often accompany these. Less frequently, patients may experience runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea. What to do?

  • Follow self-care instructions.
  • If you have an underlying condition that may make flu complications more likely (e.g. asthma, diabetes, immune suppression, or any form or heart, liver, or lung disease) you should contact your health care provider by phone to discuss whether or not you should receive additional treatment. (UCB Students may call the UHS advice nurse at (510) 643-7197 if they have questions about their underlying conditions may affect the flu).
  • Fortunately, most people with H1N1 have a mild to moderate illness and recover without ever needing to see a medical provider. See self-care instructions.
  • If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Fever greater than 103-104 degrees not responding to medication


I think my roommate might have the flu. What should I do?
The roommate should follow the current recommendations for treatment.

If you are well, practice these healthy habits to stay well:

I'm a parent, and my son/daughter is sick. What should I do? What if my son/daughter's roommate is sick?
Advise your son/daughter to follow recommendations on this web page if they are ill or if their roommate is ill. The severity of H1N1 illness is similar to regular seasonal flu. In individuals who have no underlying medical conditions that make complications from the flu more likely, most H1N1 illness is mild to moderate, and most patients recover quickly without ever needing to see a medical provider; see self-care instructions. If your son or daughter has an underlying medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, immune suppression, or any form or heart, liver, or lung disease, they should call the UHS advice nurse at (510) 643-7197 to discuss if any additional treatment recommendations are necessary.

If you are taking care of your son/daughter at home, please follow the CDC guidelines for caring for someone sick at home.

I'm faculty, what should I do if a student is sick?
If a student is sick, he/she should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading the illness to others. Because the H1N1 virus is now so widespread within the community, there is no need to contact others or make an announcement that someone in your class has been diagnosed with H1N1. Ill students are advised to follow recommendations on this web page. The CDC recommends that faculty not require a medical form for absences due to flu-like illnesses, as most ill patients are recommended to recover at home with self-care instead of seeking medical attention.

A co-worker, or classmate, went home sick with possible H1N1 swine flu. What should I do?
You should respond the same way that you would if your classmate or co-worker had an ordinary seasonal flu. No extraordinary actions are recommended at this time for healthy people who have been exposed to the H1N1 virus, aside from the basic prevention measures. You should come to work or go to class as usual. Follow the latest advice for protecting yourself, your family and your community from the H1N1 flu.

When will flu shots be available?
Limited supplies of the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots are available. Click here for details.


What are the symptoms of H1N1?
The symptoms of H1N1 may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1

H1N1 may be more severe in patients that are pregnant or those with chronic medical conditions such as:

  • Age less than 12 years old or 65 years or older
  • Chronic respiratory disease that requires regular medication
  • Significant cardiovascular disease (not just hypertension)
  • Immuno-compromised due to treatment or disease
  • Diabetes mellitus


What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands afterward.
  • Most importantly, wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

For more information, visit the CDC flu prevention page.


I'm a student worried about H1N1. Do I need to seek medical care?
If you have symptoms of flu and have concerns, please call the Advice
Nurse at (510)643-7197 for consultation rather than coming into Tang in
person or scheduling an appointment.

In general, if you are not experiencing severe symptoms (high fever,
difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent vomiting, severe diarrhea
or dehydration), you may be advised that your symptoms are best managed
with home care.


How serious is H1N1 infection?
Although H1N1 has been declared a pandemic because of the number of cases worldwide, so far the virus is mild-moderate and not much different than the regular seasonal flu.


How do you catch H1N1?
Spread of H1N1 can occur in two ways:

  • Through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with H1N1 viruses.
  • Through contact with a person with H1N1. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.


Are there medicines to treat H1N1?
Antibiotics are not effective against viruses such as influenza. There are some antiviral medicines (such as Tamiflu) that are given only to those with severe medical conditions. These medicines merely shorten the illness by a day or two, and are most effective if given early in the course of illness. Antivirals are not recommended for the general population.


How long should a person with flu-like symptoms stay away from others?

CDC recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

This is a change from the previous recommendation that ill persons stay home for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms, whichever was longer. The new recommendation applies to camps, schools, businesses, mass gatherings, and other community settings where the majority of people are not at increased risk for influenza complications. This guidance does not apply to health care settings where the exclusion period should be continued for 7 days from symptom onset or until the resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer; see http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidelines_infection_control.htm for updates about the health care setting.

Flu Prevention Workshops for Departments and Work Groups

Flu Prevention Workshops flyer (pdf)

Health*Matters, UC Berkeley's Wellness Program for Faculty & Staff, is pleased to offer fun and interactive Flu Prevention education for faculty and staff in campus departments and work groups. Format and delivery can be tailored to your needs from a 20-minute workshop to a drop-in format. The workshop covers an interactive handwashing exercise, coughing etiquette and tips on staying healthy. To schedule, contact Kristl Buluran at 643-9082.

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