Flu season is upon us again. According to the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene, there is widespread flu around the country and the state. Influenza is a respiratory illness with sudden symptoms that can include high fever, body aches, headache and cough.
We expect that this will be a busy flu season. This news is no cause for alarm, but it does give us the opportunity to practice effective prevention techniques for this type of illness.
Be a healthy Mustang and get a flu shot; it is not too late! Giant Pharmacy will be in the Wellness Center on Friday, January 31 from 11am-3pm to administer flu shots! Stop on in and get protected!
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also closely monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China. These viruses usually cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness like the common cold and are different than the influenza virus. The Wellness Center continues to monitor the CDC as well as the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regarding the spread of this new virus. Please follow the link for information about coronaviruses:
To keep yourself healthy this semester you should:
- Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus.
- Avoid those who are ill, if possible.
- Clean high touch surfaces in your room and/or office with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are very effective).
- Cough into your sleeve or a tissue, not directly into your hands, and wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face when you are ill and when healthy; this spreads germs!
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups and water bottles.
The treatment for influenza for otherwise healthy people is “supportive” – meaning that our recommendations will often be that you rest, drink plenty of fluids and take fever-reducing medicine if you are diagnosed with the flu. Anti-viral medications (Tamiflu® and Relenza®) are generally not recommended for healthy people with the flu. In addition, most people who are infected with these illnesses will not require medical care. This means:
- If you are sick, stay home and in bed. Avoid crowded places like the dining hall, classrooms, and restaurants to prevent spreading your illness to others. You should continue to do this until you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
- If your home is within reasonable driving distance, we recommend that you go home to recover.
- Recruit a friend (your “Flu Buddy”) to help care for you and bring you food when you are sick.
- Take fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) if you have a fever. If your fever persists for more than three days in spite of fever reducers, please seek medical care.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers unless you are truly sick, as these locations will be crowded with many sick people with influenza. This may put you at risk of getting the flu.
- Contact the Wellness Center at 443-352-4200 if you need medical advice or are unsure of what to do after reading this message.
For students who have chronic medical problems (ex. asthma, diabetes, obesity), it is important to visit the Wellness Center within 48 hours of developing flu-like symptoms.
For more information, visit this site: https://www.cdc.gov/flu
Stay well and have a wonderful spring semester! The Wellness Center is here to answer any questions you may have.
Julie Sanz, MSN, CRNP
Stevenson University Wellness Center