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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
May 6, 2009: Reducing Potential for Spreading H1N1 Flu

To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Curtis N. Powell, Vice President for Human Resources
Date: May 6, 2009

Re: Reducing Potential for Spreading H1N1 Flu

The following procedures will help to reduce the potential for spreading the H1N1 flu virus to co-workers or students. For more information regarding leave, refer to the Division of Human Resources Policy Guidelines.

Faculty & Staff

  • If you suspect that you might have the H1N1 flu, do not report to work and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not report to work if your attending physician suspects either you or a member of your immediate family who lives in your household has H1N1 flu, or if you are caring for a member of your immediate family who has been diagnosed with the H1N1 flu.
  • Contact your supervisor as soon as possible and inform him or her of Paid Time Off.
  • Contact the Division of Human Resources at (518) 276-6302.
  • Do not return to work until medically released to do so and then coordinate through the Division of Human Resources.


If you are notified that your employee is ill with the H1N1 flu or caring for an ill family member with H1N1 flu, follow this procedure:

  • Request that your employee contact the Division of Human Resources.
  • Request that the employee stay off work until cleared by his or her physician to return to work and coordinate with Division of Human Resources.
  • Contact the Division of Human Resources immediately and regularly as you receive medical updates from the employee.
  • NOTE: If an employee exhibits H1N1 flu symptoms, send him or her to seek medical attention and allow for the necessary time off to do so. Contact the Division of Human Resources for assistance.

Division of Human Resources

Division of Human Resources will coordinate all medical leave of absences by:

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

General flu precautions

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 H1N1 flu is one day before the onset of illness to seven days after the onset of illness. Symptoms of H1N1 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 H1N1 flu also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. As with seasonal flu, anyone with underlying chronic medical conditions may be more seriously impacted by H1N1 flu.


  • Anyone planning international travel should check with the U.S. Department of State for up-to-date advisories.
  • Additional information from Rensselaer international travel insurance provider International SOS.

Curtis N. Powell
Vice President for Human Resources

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