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How to mount your own successful fight against the flu
Sunday, December 03, 2017

How to mount your own successful fight against the flu

by Emily Maytum, N.P., Student Health Center

The flu season is in full swing and the Fredonia Health Center wants to keep the campus community healthy this semester. Here are some tips to prevent getting sick:

• Get a flu shot. Unfortunately, the Student Health Center no longer has any flu vaccine left but the local pharmacies do. Contact a pharmacy to discuss vaccine options and health insurance coverage.
• Avoid close contact with sick people. Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer rub. Avoid touching eyes, face, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs. This is especially important before eating, after using the restroom, using common areas such as the library, computer labs and the gym. Avoid sharing food and drinks with anyone this flu season.
• Disinfect and clean hard surfaces that may have come into contact with germs. Don’t forget to clean and wipe down your cell phone!
• If becoming ill, limit contact with other people. Those who come down with any flu-like illness are encouraged to stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever has subsided.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may experience vomiting or diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Students are encouraged to visit the Student Health Center if they experience any fever or symptoms that may be related to the flu. For those who do come down with the flu the staff may prescribe medications called antivirals that will help shorten symptoms if taken within two days of symptoms. Most people who are healthy and get the flu do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

For more information on taking action in fighting the flu is available online.

The following message has been sent to campus on behalf of the Division of Enrollment and Student Services and the Student Health Center:

Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are currently seeing cases of the seasonal flu on the Fredonia campus. We are monitoring this widespread activity of the virus with weekly reports from the New York State Department of Health so that we can make decisions about the best steps to take concerning our campus. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available. For now, here are a few things you can do to help:

Consider getting a flu shot. It's not too late. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. The influenza vaccine (flu shot) continues to be available at local pharmacies in the Fredonia/Dunkirk area, and is free of cost with most health insurance plans.

Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.

Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are useful and are available throughout campus.

Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of flu can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

Stay home if you have the flu or flu-like symptoms for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius) or the signs of a fever (chills, warm to touch, flushed appearance, or sweaty). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Do not go to class or work.

Academic departments will also be asked to accommodate students who need to be out of classes due to influenza and to help them stay connected and up-to-date on their course work through phone, internet and email communications. If students become ill with the flu, it will be their responsibility to initiate and maintain communication with their instructors.

Students in need of medical attention are encouraged to be seen by their primary care provider or at the Student Health Center on campus. The staff at the Student Health Center can evaluate symptoms, provide over the counter medications, and can prescribe antiviral medications if indicated.

For more information about the ​flu in our community and what our ​campus is doing, please visit the Student Health Center website or call 716-673-3131, and ask to speak with ​a nurse.

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