Influenza

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Influenza can have serious complications which may require hospitalization. Influenza complications can sometimes result in death. The flu virus is spread by droplets that are made when people sneeze, talk, or cough. It is possible for a person to get the flu by touching surfaces that contain the flu virus.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the flu may include some or all of the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Prevention

Good health habits can protect you from illness. Habits that you can practice regularly include eating nutritious foods, exercising (follow your doctor’s orders), sleeping well, controlling stress, and staying hydrated. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding close contact with people and staying home when you are sick, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding placement of your hands on/in your nose, eyes, or mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

The best way to prevent Influenza is to be immunized annually against the virus.

Influenza vaccinations (flu shots) are available at the Health Care Clinic. The clinic will also perform flu vaccine drives during the Fall and Spring semesters. Additionally, the flu vaccine is available through various local providers and pharmacies. Please visit the immunizations and the Pharmacy portions of the list of Local Providers on our webpage for more information.

Treatment

If you feel you may have the flu, you should seek medical attention quickly. Prescription antiviral medications must be started within the first 48 hours of symptoms for adequate effectiveness.

When you seek medical attention, please let the front desk staff member know that you may have the flu.

To learn more about influenza visit www.cdc.gov

This page was last updated on: October 20, 2017