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January 12, 2018

Health Services Influenza Season Recommendations

To avoid catching the flu:

  • Get a flu shot at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office, or the UM flu clinic.
  • Get adequate rest and nutrition to keep your immune system working at its best.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

 

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Sudden onset of fever (100 °F or higher)
  • Chills
  • Sore muscles
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

 

What to do if you develop flu-like symptoms:

  • STAY HOME! Limit interactions with other until you no longer have fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS should either return home for the duration of the illness or remain in their room and receive care and meals from one person to limit exposure.
  • COMMUTER STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF should remain at home.
  • Students should e-mail professors, coaches, and employers as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu.
  • Most people should feel better within 3 to 4 days and do not need to see a doctor or nurse.
    (SEE “When to seek medical attention” below)

 

How to treat symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest and adequate fluids.
  • Fever reduction– Take acetaminophen (eg: Tylenol) every 4-6 hours or ibuprofen (eg: Advil, Motrin) every 6-8 hours. These two medications may be alternated every four hours.
  • Congestion– Take a medication containing phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine (eg: Sudafed).
  • Cough– Take a medication containing dextromethorphan (eg: Robitussin or Mucinex DM).
  • Sore throat– Try throat lozenges or sprays that contain an anesthetic (eg: Chloraseptic).

 

When to seek medical attention:

  • Those at higher risk for flu complications include pregnant women, persons who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease), or persons over age 65.
  • If your symptoms get worse after treatment at home for 3 or 4 days, you need to be checked to make sure you have not developed a secondary infection.
  • Emergency medical attention is needed if you develop severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, or seizures.

 

If you have any additional questions or for an appointment, contact Health Services at 205-665-6275.

 

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