Information About the Flu

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is warning that this year's influenze season is starting earlier and seems to be peaking in January 2018. Here is some information about the flu and what you can do to prevent it.

For more information, call the Bergeron Wellness Center at 654-2234. 

What is Influenza?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. Flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The flu is different from the common cold- it causes a sudden onset of more severe symptoms.

Preventing Seasonal Flu

A yearly flu vaccine is the best prevention for the illness and is recommended for all college students. Other ways you can protect yourself from the flu include staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing.
To find a local flu shot, search online: www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/flu-finder-widget.html

Signs and Symptoms of Flu- sudden onset of some or all of the following:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (often extreme)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea

What should I do while I’m sick?

  • Confine yourself to your room while ill (you are contagious for up to 5-7 days).
  • Wear a protective mask when around other people. 
  • Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from spreading infection. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. 
  • Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids. 
  • You may have little appetite. Eat nutritious small meals. 
  • Stay home until you have been fever free for 24 hours (without using medicine for fever).
  • Call Bergeron Wellness at 654-2234 if you have a chronic medical condition or have questions about managing your illness.

Use over the counter medications to treat symptoms
Fever, headache and body aches: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin)
Nasal congestion: Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
Cough suppression: Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)
Mucous: Guaifenesin (Mucinex)

Complications of Flu

Bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions are potential complications of flu in people who are at higher risk.  If you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, JRA or a weakened immune system, you should be seen by a medical provider when sick.

Emergency Warning Signs- seek immediate attention for:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
 

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