Action Steps for Students, Faculty, and Staff to Prevent the Spread of Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 4 main ways you may keep from getting sick with the flu:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
- Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate, friend, or family member to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.
- Talk to your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu and/or 2009 H1N1 flu. Information about 2009 H1N1 flu vaccination can be found at: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination. Information about seasonal flu vaccine can be found at: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.
If flu conditions become MORE severe, students, faculty, and staff should consider the following steps:
- Extend the time you stay home or at your residence to at least 7 days, even if you feel better sooner. If you are still sick after 7 days, continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after your symptoms have completely gone away. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Prepare for the possibility suspension of classes by planning to continue your work at home (e.g., homework packets, Web-based lessons, phone calls), and find a place where you can stay either by going to your home, home of a relative, or close friend of the family.
Follow these steps now to prepare for the flu during the 2009-2010 flu season:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Cover coughs or sneezes using your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands when a tissue is not available.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Frequently clean your living quarters. If you live together with other students, you should frequently clean commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, countertops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas.
- Plan to monitor your health by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
- Talk with your health care provider if you are at higher risk for complications from flu.
- Update emergency contact lists.
- Learn more about your institution’s pandemic response plan.