Healthy U is an occasional newsletter produced by the Cedar Valley College Health Services department.
November 18, 2010
What actions can you take now to protect yourself from the flu?
Take these simple but important steps to help reduce your chances of getting the flu and other illnesses:
- Wash your hands frequently and always before touching your mouth, nose, or eyes and after using the restroom.
- Wash your hands preferably with soap and running water but hand sanitizers may be used when water is not available.
- Cover your coughs, preferably with a tissue, dispose of it in a trash can, and wash your hands.
- If a tissue is not handy, cover your cough with your sleeve.
- Get a flu shot when they are available.
- Everything you do to take care of your general health will help too....like getting plenty of rest, eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods, exercising daily, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding things that are hazardous to your health.
- Buy a thermometer and first aid kit. Stock up on food and healthy drinks to last a couple of weeks if you are ill.
- Update your emergency contact information and get your doctor's phone number. Share this information with your roommate.
What actions can you take if you become sick?
- Make a plan to have someone check on you frequently when you are ill.
- Check you course syllabus to see how to let your instructors know when you are ill and how to keep up with assignments.
- Stay home if you have fever or chills, or a cough or sore throat which may be symptoms of flu.
- Symptoms of flu may also include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches.
- When you are ill, stay home until you have NO fever for at least 24 hours.
- Rest, drink liquids, and take Tylenol or ibuprofen according to directions for fever or muscle aches.
- Do NOT take any medicine containing aspirin when you may have the flu.
- If you have flu-like symptoms and are in one of the high-risk groups defined by the Center of Disease Control, you do need to see a doctor right away if you think you might have the flu. People that are in high-risk groups include pregnant women, young children, people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or other serious chronic diseases, and health care workers.
- Remember there are other serious illnesses that may cause flu-like symptoms. If you have a severe headache, severe neck ache, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or a rash with any of the above symptoms, or your fever goes above 102, you need to see a doctor immediately. You could have meningitis or another more serious illness which requires immediate medical attention.
For more ways to protect yourself and get up-to-date information on all types of flu, go to www.cdc.gov. Bookmark it to your computer and check it frequently.