Flu Info & Prevention

H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza

 

Flu Prevention

Signs and Symptoms

What to Do If You're Sick

Resources

Flu Info Hotline, call: (928) 428-8345

 

Flu Prevention

It is important to take precautions to avoid catching the flu and transmitting it to others. Incorporating the simplest steps into your everyday routine will help you stay healthy through the season. Here are some tips to follow:

Take simple precautions

  • Get a flu shot to prevent seasonal flu (a vaccine for H1N1 will be available soon)
  • Get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise regularly to maintain your natural defenses
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth in case you've come in contact with flu germs

Wash your hands

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with warm water for at least 15 seconds
  • It is especially important to wash your hands after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating
  • Use soap and rub hands together vigorously to cover all surfaces
  • Use a disposable paper towel to dry hands and turn off faucet, then dispose of it properly
  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

Cover up when you cough or sneeze

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away after one use
  • If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve, not your hands, since germs spread easily from hand to hand  
  • Wash your hands as discussed above after sneezing or coughing

When around sick people

  • Avoid close contact with people who have the flu
  • Wear a face mask when you can't avoid close proximity
  • Disinfect surfaces such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, and faucets frequently

 

Signs and Symptoms

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly and may include any of the following, collectively known as "flu-like symptoms":

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can also occur but are more common in children than adults

Who is at greatest risk?

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days or less than 2 weeks, but some people can develop life-threatening complications as a result of the flu. Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen at any age. Those who are at higher than average risk of complications associated with the flu are:

  • People age 65 years and older
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)
  • Pregnant women
  • Young children

Complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)

Novel H1N1 flu is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in the U.S. in April 2009, and has spread to many countries around the world. More information about the H1N1 virus is available here.

 

What to Do If You're Sick

Stay home to avoid spreading the flu

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • You can still be contagious after you start feeling better
  • Consider calling your doctor's office for symptom management rather than going to the office if your symptoms are mild and you aren't in a high risk group
  • Try to isolate yourself in a private room, ideally with a private bath, until symptoms subside
  • Avoid returning to school or work until you've been fever-free for at least 24 hours

If you're sick, notify....

  • Roommate(s)
  • Residence Life Staff if you live in the residence halls
  • Counseling Office so they can assist you in notifying your instructors
  • Housing Office or Student Life Office

If you need help:

  • Scheduling a doctor's appointment
  • Getting a ride to the doctor or pharmacy

Contact any of the following:

  • Student Life Office (928) 428-8354
  • Counseling Office (928) 428-8253
  • Residence Life staff in residence halls
  • Housing Office (928) 428-8605

 

Resources

The administration, faculty and staff of Eastern Arizona College are in no way experts on H1N1 flu, flu prevention, or flu treatment. For much more comprehensive information on all things flu-related consult your physician or see the following web sites:

2009 H1N1 Information at the Centers for Disease Control

U.S. Government one-stop flu site - Flu.gov

 

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  Cover your cough poster