Environmental Health & Safety

Flu (Pandemic)

While the chances of a pandemic flu emergency affecting the UNCW community are currently very low, it is still important to plan for such an event. New flu viruses create a greater threat for a pandemic that may occur now or in years or decades in the future. UNCW has strived to prepare for a pandemic flu emergency. This website's purpose is to inform and prepare the UNCW community for such a crisis by providing current information and resources.

Flu Terms Defined

Flu Prevention, Symptoms, and Care

UNCW Pandemic Flu Plans and Accommodations

Pandemic Flu Links

Pandemic Flu Poster

Pandemic Flu Brochure


Flu Terms Defined

Seasonal Influenza: (often called "The Flu") A contagious respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus. The Flu kills about 36,000 people in the United States annually. Seasonal Flu occurs every year and can cause mild to severe illness in people. The best protection against seasonal flu is vaccination and hand washing. Flu shots are available every year for faculty, staff and students through the UNCW flu shot campaign.

Pandemic Flu: A pandemic flu occurs when a virulent human flu causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person. Currently, we are monitoring H1N1.

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Flu Prevention, Symptoms, and Care


  • Get your flu shot! Participate in the UNCW faculty/staff/student flu shot campaign each fall. Many local healthcare providers also administer the vaccine. Flu season lasts roughly from November through May, and having your flu shot can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the seasonal virus. It takes two weeks after the shot is administered to develop adequate immunity.
  • Wash your hands! Many germs spread through human contact. Make sure to wash your hands on a regular basis.
  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette by covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze and use tissues to trap germs.
  • Stay away from people who are sick or not feeling well. Healthy adults infected with the virus may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 7-10 days after becoming sick. That means you can pass the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home. It is better for you to get well and prevent the spread of the virus to others.
  • People who are considered high risk when infected by the flu virus are those who are 65 years and older, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children.

Flu Symptoms:

  • Fever (up to 104 degrees) and/or sweating/chills
  • Headache, muscle aches, and/or stiffness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting

H1N1 Flu Symptoms:

  • Fever over 100 degrees F
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills and fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Avian Flu Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle Aches
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Chest pains
  • Exposure to poultry or wild birds and/or travel to countries where Avian Flu has been located


  • See your healthcare provider. Your doctor can help diagnose and treat your condition. There may be medication you can take to help you recover.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Rest.
  • Refrain from alcohol and tobacco use.

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UNCW Pandemic Flu Plans and Accommodations:

UNCW has a comprehensive, all hazards Emergency Operations Plan. This plan includes a Pandemic Influenza/Infectious Disease Response Plan annex. Additionally, UNCW has a Pandemic Influenza/Infectious Disease Planning Committee that meets on a regular basis to discuss preparedness measures for infectious disease events.

Members of the UNCW Pandemic Influenza/Infectious Disease Planning Committee include:

  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs (Chair)
  • Emergency Manager (lead plan writer)
  • Provost
  • Associate Dean of Research
  • Assistant Provost for International Programs
  • Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Director of the Abrons Student Health Center
  • Medical Director
  • Assistant to the Chancellor for Marketing and Communications
  • Environmental Health & Safety Director
  • Director of the Physical Plant
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Legal Counsel
  • Chief of Police
  • ITSD Representative
  • Housing and Residence Life Representative
  • School of Nursing Representative
  • New Hanover County Health Department representative
  • Other external entities as required

UNCW Pandemic Flu Plan

If you would like a copy of UNCW's Pandemic Influenza/Infectious Disease Response Plan, please contact Jodie Ruskin, or 910.962.7697.

UNCW Pandemic Flu Exercise

UNCW held a pandemic flu tabletop exercise in October of 2007. This exercise enabled key UNCW administrators and emergency responders to practice response actions to a pandemic flu scenario. This exercise has enabled UNCW to become better prepared to respond to a pandemic flu or infectious disease event.

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Pandemic Flu Links

Center for Disease Control Pandemic Flu Information

State and County Pandemic Plan Information:

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