There are a number of steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting the flu as well as to reduce the likelihood of spreading the flu to others if you should become sick.
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
- Practice respiratory etiquette by covering 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. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever (i.e. the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering).
- Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness 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). Do not go to class or work.
Talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. Also, if you are at higher risk for complications from the 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for the 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine will be offered in the Student Center from 12-5 on the following dates: September 29, October 14, and October 29.