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Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Resources

What you can do to prevent the “Flu”

Student Health Service would like to urge all members of our university community to pay special attention to their physical well-being. Given the close proximity of students in residence halls and classrooms, it is especially important to practice proper hygiene in order to prevent the spread of flu in our classrooms, offices and larger campus community. Please help protect your own health and that of your campus community by practicing the following to help lower the risk of spreading or contracting influenza:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based cleaner
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Do not share food, drink or utensils

• Get your own thermometer, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and tissues.
• Maintain your own supply of hand soap and/or gel hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content). 
• Make a Personal Influenza Plan. Do you have any health condition that might put you at higher risk for more severe illness (see information to the right)? Where will you recuperate if you get sick? If you live alone, who will help if you need groceries or other suppliers brought to you? Where do you keep the contact info for everyone you should alert if you have to self-isolate (instructors, employer, etc.)?
• Don’t spread or fall for rumors! If there is ever any disruption to campus operations, you will be notified by email from UWEC.  If your class is temporarily canceled, you will be notified by your instructor or department.
• Cough and sneeze into your sleeve. Viruses don’t live as long or spread as easily from a sleeve as they can from your hands.
• Start a good hand washing habit. Always wash with soap or hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds before eating, drinking, or preparing food, after using the bathroom, and if you cough or sneeze into a tissue.
• Try to keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands more often if you smoke or bite your nails.
• Get the seasonal flu shot when it is available (usually in early fall through winter).
• If you are in close contact with someone who has the flu…don’t panic, and don’t blame.
Most students are advised NOT to take any special actions based on ordinary exposure. However, students with “high-risk” conditions should call their healthcare providers promptly, as medication may be recommended in some cases. 
• “High-risk” medical conditions include the following: severe asthma or other chronic lung disease; cancer; heart disease; diabetes; pregnancy; weakened immune system; or kidney, liver, blood, or neurological disorders.
“High-risk” doesn’t mean you are at higher risk of contracting influenza. But these conditions are associated with a higher possibility of complications if you do get flu.
The only thing we can be certain of is that the situation is unpredictable and will change throughout the semester, so you should keep checking in with Student Health Service.

 
Is it a cold or the flu?
 
Cold                             VS.               Flu
comes on gradually...........................comes on quickly
fever unlikely.....................................fever very likely
cough possible..................................dry cough likely
sore throat possible...........................sore throat likely
stomach not affected......................... vomiting & diarrhea possible
body aches unlikely............................body aches likely
chills unlikely....................................chills likely
stuffy/runny nose likely.......................stuffy/runny nose possible

If You Do Get Sick…

Activate Your Personal Influenza Plan


Take your temperature. If you have a fever (100°F/ 37.8°C or higher), you must stay home from work and class until you have been completely fever-free (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours, and you feel well. For most people, this will be 3 to 5 days.

If you have a “high-risk” medical condition(listed on reverse side), call your health care provider. Although antiviral medications are not recommended for most healthy individuals, they are recommended for some “high-risk” cases and should be taken as soon as possible.

Most people recover fully on their own without medical treatment. Drink fluids to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, eat what you can, and use ibuprofen (600mg every 6-8 hours) or acetaminophen (650-1000mg every 4-6 hours) to manage fever and body aches. (Antibiotics do not have any effect because influenza is caused by a virus.) Call a health care provider if your symptoms are not improving after 3 to 4 days. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms listed below.

Seek medical care
…if you experience any of the following:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Coughing up blood or bloody mucus
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Dizziness when standing and/or significantly reduced urine production
  • Abnormal behavior, confusion, lack of responsiveness
  • If flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Go to your recuperation location and self-isolate.You should not go to the library, Davies, restaurants, or any social events, and you should avoid public transportation. If you go out, cover your mouth and nose with a surgical mask or tissues and shield others from coughs and sneezes.  People with the flu generally feel weak, achy, and fatigued for a few days to a week. Some people may choose to go home until they are better.  If you will be staying in a household you share with others, avoid sharing common spaces with them while you’re sick. If you live alone, call a friend to bring supplies to your door rather than going shopping yourself.

Stay in one room with the door closed. Whenever you leave your room, use hand sanitizer before exiting, and keep your mouth and nose covered until you are back in your room. Everyone in the household should wash their hands well and often and use disposable disinfectant wipes on shared surfaces, such as doorknobs, bathroom faucets, and refrigerator handles.
Communicate. Cancel any appointments (with your advisor, dentist, etc.), and contact your professors and employer to let them know you have influenza symptoms and cannot return to class or work until you are better (i.e. fever-free). As with any illness, you will be responsible for getting class notes you have missed and making arrangements to make up work after you recover. All faculty are being alerted that students are supposed to stay home if they are sick.  The university is also asking faculty to stay home from teaching if they have flu symptoms.

Tell your “close contacts” you may have flu. That means roommates/housemates and officemates. Also, any friends and people you are frequently around.  That way, if any of them has a “high-risk” health condition, they can contact their health care provider for advice and possibly medication.

Flu viruses typically survive on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours, so do not share towels, clothing, eating utensils, keyboards, remote controls, etc., while you are infectious. Standard cleaning products should be sufficient to remove viruses from surfaces, but water alone is not enough.


Information provided by Student Health Service
Located in Crest Wellness Center on upper campus
Appointments: 715-836-5360              Information: 715-836-4311
http://www.uwec.edu/shs

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