Middlebury College has an Emergency Plan that includes the threat of severe illness, such as pandemic flu. College Health Officials monitor websites and receive direct communication from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH). In the event that a communicable disease, such as a flu pandemic, presents an immediate threat to the safety of Middlebury students and our community, the College's plan is to quickly close and evacuate all students.
All students are required to have a personal evacuation plan. Should the College need to evacuate, updates would be provided to students as well as on the College's home webpage.
To learn more about Middlebury's Pandemic Flu Response Plan and how students can best prepare and plan for potential emergency, please review the information below:
Influenza ("the flu") is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. The virus we usually face is referred to as Seasonal Flu. Influenza-like-illness is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F or greater) and a cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a KNOWN cause other than influenza.
The flu usually spreads through the air from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. When these viruses enter the nose, throat, or lungs of a person, they begin to multiply, causing symptoms of the flu. Unlike the common cold, the flu can cause serious illness and can be life-threatening, especially for certain people with chronic health conditions.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot.
To help prevent the spread of illness from person to person:
- Cover your cough.
- Wash your hands often and well.
- Keep yourself healthy with rest, exercise, and eat healthy, vitamin-rich foods.
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids.
- Stay home if you get sick.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
Visit the links below for further information about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ILI:
- What To Do About The Flu: Guidelines For Deciding About Care
Middlebury College students should be prepared in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. Steps you can take before infection spreads include:
Stay Informed - Read all emails from the Health Services or Dean of College. Information will be provided if there is an influenza outbreak:
Get These Supplies Before You Become Sick:
- Thermometer - very important for students in self-isolation
- Fever reducer, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (a.k.a. Motrin, Advil, or Aleve)
Fever reducer and pain relief medication such as acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol)
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (such as Purell)
- Soft disposable tissues (a.k.a. Kleenex)
Fluids - Adequate fluids such as water and/or Gatorade. Have 2-3 liters on-hand for the first day of illness.
You may also want to have the following items available:
- Disposable sanitizing wipes (to wipe surfaces such as public keyboards)
- Nasal spray decongestant (oxymetazoline, a.k.a. Afrin)
- Nasal irrigation product such as Sinus Rinse™
MiddExpress and The College Book Store, as well as local pharmacies and markets, should have most if not all of these supplies on hand.
Inform the Health Services if you are considered a "high risk" student:
- Students who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders. This includes students with asthma;
- Students who have immunosuppression (caused by medications or by HIV);
- Pregnant women;
- Students less than 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection.
Get the seasonal influenza vaccine
Parton Health Services offers flu shot clinics at the beginning of each flu season. Flu shots are also available to students at the Health Services on a walk-in basis.
Stay Healthy: Respiratory Etiquette & Hand Hygiene Procedures
Plan: In the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, students with influenza like illness* will be asked to either go home or stay in their rooms and receive support from their Commons until they have been without a fever (temp > 100.0 F) x 24 hours without using fever reducing medications. There may not be enough places on campus to house well roommates of sick students, so have a plan for where you would go (i.e. stay with a friend) for 2-5 days if your roommate became ill.
* Influenza like illness is defined as: Fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and a cough and/or a sore throat in the absence of a KNOWN cause other than influenza.