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Important message regarding H1N1 flu

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
September 16, 2009

Texas State University-San Marcos, like many college campuses across the country, has been dealing with a resurgence of H1N1 influenza.  The number of students reporting a flu-like illness has been steadily climbing since the start of classes.  Absenteeism due to flu illness is likely to increase in the coming weeks and months.  We are aware that students are concerned that absence due to the flu might adversely affect their academic standing.  This concern is leading many students to ignore public health recommendations for isolation and contributing to the spread of flu to others.  It is important to take steps now to avoid a large outbreak of flu that could result in the cancellation of classes and major events.  Students and faculty are provided the following guidance:

  • Students, faculty and staff who develop symptoms of the flu must follow public health recommendations to isolate until fever-free for 24 hours (3-5 days usually)
  • Students, faculty and staff with medical problems such as asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, suppressed immune systems or pregnancy who develop symptoms of the flu should contact their doctor or the Student Health Center (512) 245-2167 for medical assistance
  • Professors should not expect students to provide a signed medical note as the majority of those with the flu will not require evaluation by a doctor
  • Professors are expected to adjust absence and grading policies to accommodate a medical absence
  • Professors should review their absence policy with students and discuss the manner in which they want to be notified of an absence
  • Students who are sick, and need professors notified of their absence, are encouraged to notify the Dean of Students Office at (512) 245-2124 or contact Vincent Morton at vm05@txstate.edu
  • Students are reminded that falsifying information about a medical absence is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct

We need everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of flu.  We do not want students attending class when they are ill or potentially infectious.  We are faced with the possibility of an unusually long flu season.  Taking personal responsibility and following public health recommendations to prevent the spread of infection can help to decrease the negative impact of the flu on our campus.