As many of you are aware, this year’s influenza vaccination does not provide full protection against the particular influenza strain that has been circulating this winter. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the vaccine only reduces the risk of serious disease by 23 percent. Nonetheless, the CDC recommends people still get a flu vaccine. The vaccine may lessen the severity of the symptoms and help prevent serious complications that might arise from contracting the disease. If symptoms are treated within 24-48 hours of onset, there are 3 anti-viral medications that can lessen the duration & severity of the flu symptoms. You will need to visit or call your local physician/clinic for definitive influenza testing and treatment with anti-viral medications. If you have been diagnosed with the flu, please contact Health Services at 321-3260 for help with tracking the illness on campus and possible accommodations during your illness.
The CDC recommends a three step approach to fighting the flu which includes obtaining a flu vaccine, seeking early treatment for symptoms and everyday preventative measures.
Listed below are a few of the preventative measures:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with “flu-like” symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. Fever must be gone without the use of fever reducing medications.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap & water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Additional information concerning the flu can be found at www.CDC.gov. Any further questions, please contact Heather Harrington in Health Resources Monday-Friday in the Thomas Center, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.