Below are some tips and facts on how to take care of yourself if you have the flu and also to keep others healthy.
Seasonal and H1N1 (Swine) Flu
Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Generally, people with either type of flu can manage recovery at home with little or no medical attention. However, certain people are at higher risks of serious flu-related complications.
These individuals should consult with their health care providers with the onset of flu-like symptoms, or following recent close contact with someone who has the flu:
- People of any age with certain medical conditions, including:
- Heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease
- Pregnant women
- Adults 65 years and older
- Children under five years old
Q. How do I recognize a fever or signs of a fever?
A fever is a temperature that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 degrees Celsius) when taken with a thermometer. Look for these possible signs of fever: if someone feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
Q. How do I know if I have seasonal flu or 2009 H1N1?
It will be very hard to tell if someone who is sick has seasonal flu or 2009 H1N1. Public health officials and medical authorities will not be recommending laboratory tests.
Q. What should I do if I have flu-like symptoms?
Stay home! Don’t go to school or work. Get plenty of rest, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and pain, drink plenty of liquids.
Promptly seek medical attention if you have a medical condition that places you at higher risk of flu-related complications or develop severe symptoms.
Severe symptoms include increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, fast breathing, bluish skin color, dizziness or confusion, or if you get better but then your symptoms return, even worse.
Q. What fever-reducing medications can I take?
Fever-reducing medications are medicines that contain acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Motrin). These medicines can be taken by people who are sick with flu to help bring down their fever and relieve their pain. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years of age who have flu; this can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
Q. What steps can students, faculty, and staff take to stay healthy and keep from spreading the flu?
Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based (62% alcohol) cleaners are also effective.
Practice respiratory etiquette. The main way flu spreads is from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it’s important that you cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, you should cough or sneeze into you elbow or shoulder, not your hand.
Stay home if you are sick. Stay home or in your residence room for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medication.
Talk to your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated. Due to a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine, flu shots will NOT be available for the Health & Wellness Fair on October 27. We are at the top of the list to receive vaccine and we will make them available to you as soon as our shipment comes in. Students, faculty and staff should consider getting the H1N1 flu shot when it becomes available. The vaccine will be available on campus on a date to be announced.
Click here for more flu prevention tips.
Q. What actions should pregnant students, faculty or staff take to protect themselves?
Pregnant women should follow the same guidance as everyone else related to staying home when sick, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and routine cleaning.
Pregnant women are at higher risks of complications from flu and, like all people at higher risk, should speak with their health care provider as soon as possible if they develop flu-like symptoms. Early treatment with antiviral flu medications is recommended for pregnant women who have the flu; these medications are most effective when started within the first 48 hours of feeling sick.
Pregnant women should know that they are part of the first priority group to receive the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine when it becomes available. Seasonal flu vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women and can be given at any time during pregnancy.
For further information go to www.flu.gov or call the Swine Flu hotline at (800) 808-1987.
Health Services - 839-8446.
Talk to your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated. Learn more about the flu as part of our Health & Wellness Fair in Wick Center this Fall.