As you probably have heard, influenza is on campus. It is a bit unusual to see as many cases as we have seen (4 in the first week) but this is not unheard of.
There are 3 major ways to control the spread of influenza:
- Good hand and respiratory hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and after sneezing, coughing and handling public facilities like doorknobs, handrails, etc. Avoid touching your face and eyes. Cough into the fold of your arm and not into your hands.
- Stay away from crowds and classes if you are ill. Communicate with your course instructors to let them know if you will miss classes and what their requirements are for documentation.
- Get vaccinated! Student Health has their first shipment of vaccine and will begin distributing it around campus soon. Until then students, faculty and staff can come into SHS both on Main Campus and Centennial. You do not need an appointment and vaccine will be available 9-4:00 Monday through Friday (We are closed Monday September 2 and Tuesdays we open at 9). We will bill your insurance, you do not need to pay up front.
If you become ill, you can take care of yourself with plenty of fluids (>2 liters per day), over the counter decongestants, and acetaminophen for fever. Antiviral treatment must be started in the first 48 hours of symptoms and will reduce symptoms but not “cure” the flu. For people at medical risk, antiviral medications can be given to prevent flu if there is a close contact who tested positive for influenza. If you are ill and cannot keep fluids down, have high fevers not controlled with acetaminophen, are dizzy when you stand or have shortness of breath and persistent severe cough seek health care either at Student Health, an Urgent Care Center or the Emergency Department.