Flu season begins in late Fall and persists throughout the winter months.
WHAT IS THE FLU?
Influenza (also known as “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF THE FLU?
Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THE FLU?
- The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year! The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the fall and winter seasons.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. Most healthy college students without significant comorbidities will recover from the flu without complications. If you get sick with flu symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider. If you wish to be seen at the Health Office, please call ahead to schedule an appointment. At the Health Office you will be asked to put on a mask, and isolate yourself in our “sick waiting room”. If you are diagnosed with the flu, the Health Office will contact the Campus Life Office to notify your professors of your illness. You will not be allowed back in class until you are 24 hours without a fever (without the use of anti-fever medications).
If you are able to go home to recuperate, that is always the best option, but if you are unable to go home, please self-isolate in your room. Do NOT attend classes, social gatherings, or go to the Dining Hall. The Health Office can make arrangements with Dining Services for meal pick-up by a designated person.
If you choose to seek medical attention by an outside medical provider, please have them provide documentation that you have the flu. Out of respect of infecting others, please do not come to campus with the excuse note, but rather email or fax your excuse note to Elizabeth in the Office of Campus Life. (Elizabeth.Nowicki@centenaryuniversity.edu or fax to 908-979-4287)
Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our office at ext. 2209.