Influenza Season is Here!
First –and foremost: Take preventive measures to avoid contracting this or any illness.
Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Specific actions, as they relate to flu, include:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Or, if a tissue is unavailable, cough into your bent arm.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, and be especially diligent to wash after you cough or sneeze. Anti-bacterial, alcohol-based hand cleaners can be effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
-Avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick, limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Additionally, the CDC recommends vaccination with the seasonal flu vaccine. Student Health Services is offering the flu vaccine free of charge to students. You may also check with the local Pharmacies and Clinics on vaccine availability for your seasonal shot.
Second – Become aware of symptoms of the flu. These include:
*fever (usually high) *headache *extreme tiredness
*dry cough *runny or stuffy nose *muscle aches
*sore throat *vomiting *sometimes diarrhea
If you have these symptoms, keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick. Do not continue to interact with groups of people or attend class if you have these symptoms.
Students should notify their faculty members and instructors (via email or per the faculty member’s or instructor’s instructions) as soon as possible if you become ill. Students living in the residence halls should notify their RA and their RD (preferably via email). Students are welcome to call Student Health Services (608-342-1891) with questions, concerns.
Third and extremely important – If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home, stay in your room, or otherwise self-quarantine for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. [Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.] Take care of yourself:
* get plenty of rest
* drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks) to keep from becoming dehydrated; and
* be watchful for emergency warning signs (like difficulty breathing or chest pain; discoloration of the lips; uncontrollable vomiting; dizziness; seizures) that might indicate you need to seek medical attention.
** Young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease; and people 65 years and older should contact their local provider. In these high risk populations antiviral drugs are often advised.
Remember: most people recover fully, on their own, without medical treatment. If you are sick: self-isolate; drink fluids to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, eat what you can, and use ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as directed, to manage fever and body aches. Seek medical care if you have any of the following warning signs: shortness of breath or trouble breathing; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; severe or persistent vomiting; confusion or sudden dizziness; flu symptoms that improve but then return suddenly with fever and worse cough.