Safety, Security & Health

FAQs About Novel H1N1 (Swine Flu)

Referred to as “swine flu” early on, the Novel H1N1 flu is an influenza virus causing illness in people. The virus is spreading from people-to-people all across the world. Influenza is spread just like the common cold – through droplets in the air and from direct contact with individuals with the virus. Touching surfaces that have been contaminated by someone who has a virus and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth increases the chance of acquiring the virus.

Symptoms of the flu usually include a high fever (102-104 degrees), chest discomfort/cough, body aches, headache and/or exhaustion. Usually, people can pinpoint exactly when their symptoms started, and they start suddenly -- "I was fine at 10, but by 10:30 I was really sick." Stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and other symptoms of the common cold are usually not prominent.

If you are having symptoms consistent with the flu, see the Student Health Service if you are a BGSU student, or visit your primary care provider. The Student Health Service can be reached at 419-372-2271.

Make sure to check your temperature. A health care provider can make the diagnosis of influenza, and if you have had symptoms for only 24-48 hours, provide you with a prescription to help lessen the symptoms and the duration of illness. If you have had symptoms for over 48 hours, a health care provider can offer you medications to ease your symptoms. However, the illness will need to take its course, which is usually 5 to 10 days.

If you feel sick, stay home and see your physician. In order to monitor for a potential outbreak, the health center and area doctors will be reporting flu cases to the Wood County Health Department. Students should contact their instructors to let them know they are ill. Faculty members should follow their normal procedure, if unable to hold class. Staff members should contact their supervisor as usual, if unable to report to work. Faculty or staff with any other questions may

call Human Resources at 419-372-8421.

While there is no need to be overly concerned at this point, to help prevent an outbreak, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the precautions they would normally take to prevent colds or flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective).
  • Try to avoid touching your, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Don't share drinks, toothbrushes, etc.

If you are preparing for a study abroad trip take the necessary precautions mentioned above. There are also additional precautions if you will be traveling to a high-risk area:

  • Meet with your doctor to discuss your travel plans.
  • Stay informed by visiting the CDC’s Current Updates section pertaining to the country you will be traveling to.
  • Be sure you are up-to-date on your routine vaccinations.
  • Wear a mask in public areas such as airports, subway stations, etc.
  • Pack a travel health kit.
  • Identify the health care resources in the area you will be traveling to.
  • Avoid physical contact with others.

Anyone returning from a study abroad trip should closely monitor their health for 7 days. If you have symptoms of H1N1 isolate yourself from others and visit your local doctor or the BGSU Student Health Services.

Additional Information and Resources

Call BGSU Student Health Services for more information: 419-372-2271

Visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Review the CDC’s recommendations for safe and healthy travel.

Visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Information taken from the following websites:

Safety and Security

Use the following links to learn more about safety and security abroad.

Bowling Green State University Emergency Response Plan for Education Abroad Participants (PDF) : Outlines the specific procedures for responding to an emergency involving Bowling Green State University Education Abroad Participants.

U.S. Department of State : Offers a consular information web page site for every country in the world and current travel warnings. Also a great resource for international educational and cultural affairs, including information about living abroad.

Tips for Student Travelers : An excellent website from the Department of State designed specifically for students who plan to travel and/or study abroad. Among other things, the site includes information about safety abroad and medical insurance for traveling abroad.

University of California, Irvine : A helpful website in considering safety issues abroad.

The Electronic Embassy : The Electronic Embassy links the staffs and resources of the Washington D.C. embassy community to their constituencies in business and industry, education, the press and government.

Passports and Visas: We strongly recommend that you apply for a U.S. passport once you have applied to a study abroad program. Even if you are not accepted into your program, the investment in a passport is a good one.