Action Steps for Students, Faculty, and Staff to Prevent the Spread of Flu
This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. For updated information on the current flu season, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.
February 17, 2009 1:00 PM ET
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 4 main ways you may keep from getting sick with the flu:
- Talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu. Information about 2009 H1N1 flu vaccination can be found at: 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine. Information about seasonal flu vaccine can be found at: Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- 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.
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand rubs are also useful.
- 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 37.8 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 medicines (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.
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, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever..
- 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 rubs are also useful.
- 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.
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