Pandemic Influenza (Flu) Policy [G.14 / VS.11]

[G.14 / VS.11]  

 A Pandemic Flu is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease caused by an influenza virus such as H1N1 or H5N1. If the virus alters its form, it may be possible to spread from human to human and a global pandemic would result. Patients exhibit the following symptoms and have been known to deteriorate rapidly.


  •  Fever above 38 degrees Centigrade
  •  Headache
  •  Cough
  •  Sore throat
  •  Runny nose
  •  Muscle aches and pains
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Rapid onset of symptoms

How can you protect yourself and family?   
There is no single best way to protect yourself, but the following techniques will assist in reducing the spread of the disease: washing and drying hands; using cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene; using gloves when/if necessary; using masks if/when necessary; obtaining a flu vaccination; and isolating yourself from people who are sick with the flu.

Wash and dry hands with soap  
Note: Hand washing is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of  germs that cause respiratory disease.

  •  Remove jewellery and cover abrasions
  •  Wet hands with warm water and then apply soap
  •  Lather for 10-15 seconds, paying particular attention also to the backs of the hands, fingers, fingernails, fingertips and webbing between the fingers.
  •  Rinse hands under running water
  •  Dry hands with a clean towel.

Wash and dry hands with an alcohol-based cleaner  
When soap and water are unavailable, it may be necessary to clean hands using an alcohol-based cleaner or liquid rub.

  •  Remove jewellery and cover abrasions
  •  Use water or wet wipe to remove visible soiling
  •  Dispense product into dry hands
  •  Rub all surfaces of hands for 1 minute, paying particular attention also to the backs of the hands, fingers, fingernails, fingertips and webbing between the fingers.

Use cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene  

  •  When coughing, use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth.
  •  Dispose of the tissue afterwards
  •  After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, wash your hands  with soap and water OR use alcohol-based liquid gel or wipes if you do not have access to soap or water.
  •  Wear a surgical mask if possible

Use gloves when/if necessary  

  •  Remove jewellery, cover abrasions and then wash and dry hands
  •  Fit gloves and adjust the cuffs
  •  Replace gloves during use if they become damaged or contaminated
  •  Immediately after use, remove the gloves by gripping them at the cuffs, leaving the gloves turned inside out; discarding the gloves in an appropriate waste-disposal unit, and washing your hands.

Use masks if/when necessary   
Note: When fitted properly a P2(N95) mask offers protection from diseases spread by droplet and airborne transmission. When fitting and removing a mask:

  •  Position the mask over the mouth and nose
  •  Tie the tapes above and below the ears at the back of the head
  •  Press the metal adjustors so that the mask fits snugly at the bridge of the nose and under the chin
  •  Immediately after use, wash your hands and then undo the tapes at the back of the head.  Touch only the tapes of the mask.  Discard the mask in an appropriate waste container.

Obtain a flu vaccination at the beginning of Autumn. This will help to distinguish the diagnosis between a pandemic virus and other types of influenza.  

Isolate yourself from people who are sick with the flu  

  •  Stay at home when you have the flu
  •  Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  •  Wash your hands often and carry alcohol-containing hand sanitizers with you for use when soap and water are unavailable.
  •  Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth
  •  Avoid contact with birds, bird farms, bird markets, and bird excrement.

International Students and International Travel  
In relation to the Bird Flu (H5N1), poultry meat and products are not allowed into Australia and will be seized and destroyed. When entering Australia, international students must declare for Quarantine inspection:

  •  poultry meat and products, including raw or cooked chicken and duck
  •  fresh or preserved eggs and egg products
  •  items that contain feathers, poultry vaccines and any other animal products.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) will screen ALL flights, passengers and baggage from high-risk countries. Look at sites such as the governments smart traveller site for a list of affected countries.

All international mail will also be screened.
For your information  
In the event of a pandemic Flu outbreak, international travel may be prohibited and domestic travel severely curtailed.  Avondale College may close for a period during such an outbreak.

Further information is available from the following sites
World Health Organisation
National Pests and Disease Outbreak
Australian Health Department
Australian Government s Travel Advisory
Flu Wiki

In the event that a Flu Pandemic warning is received, Avondale College will: (a) issue an email alert to students and staff indicating the level of risk and where the policy documents are located; (b) put posters in accessible places such as toilets, cafeteria; (c) advise students who are not already vaccinated to make arrangements to receive a flu shot; (d) instruct staff that travel to restricted countries as indicated on government websites is not permitted until the restrictions are lifted by the government; (e) provide alcohol-based hand cleansing gel when the risk level is high.

For further information on Swine Flu click here
For posters on flu prevention hygiene click here



Information about, prevention of, and response to a flu pandemic.

Approved By:

Approval Date:
2 June 2009

Upload Authorised By:
VP (A&R)


Review In:
June 2012

influenza, management, risk, WHS

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Last Updated:07th September 2015
Updated By: Brian Greentree