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SMU addresses flu concerns

Cases of the flu are being reported in North Texas, including SMU. Students, faculty or staff who miss class or work because of the flu should notify their professors or supervisors by e-mail or phone and complete the Flu Absence Reporting Form.

Due to patient volume, the SMU Memorial Health Center is starting over-the-phone triage to prioritize patients. If a student has a condition that can wait to be seen by a doctor, the University recommends that they go to the center at a later date to avoid exposure to the influenza virus. The center's phone number is 214-768-2141.

The Health Center requests that students bring their health insurance cards to get medications. Otherwise, they will be charged full price for any prescriptions.

In addition, the Health Center urges all students, faculty and staff to get seasonal flu shots as soon as possible from pharmacies or physicians. The University expects to begin providing seasonal flu shots in late September. Shots for Novel H1N1 flu are expected to be available later in the year.

In accordance with Dallas County Health and Human Services guidelines, SMU is treating all cases of flu or flu-like symptoms as if they were Novel H1N1 influenza. Most reported cases have been mild, and most of those afflicted have recovered within a few days of onset.

If you have been diagnosed with the flu, please follow the Health Center's guidelines.

SMU has increased the frequency of sanitation procedures in University buildings and encourages vigilance regarding personal hygiene and health habits. There are things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs, including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a disposable tissue or your sleeve.
  • If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, do not go to work or class until 24 hours after you no longer have fever. Students should e-mail their professors about making up any missed assignments.
  • Regularly clean work surfaces and touch points (door handles, drawer pulls, chair arms, etc.) in your work area and home.

SMU remains in close contact with the Dallas County Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. The University also is monitoring the flu situation in other countries for those studying or teaching abroad.