Keeping Yourself and Others Healthy Throughout Flu Season
Influenza season is upon us, and we would like to remind you that there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk and stop the spread of infection:
- Get a flu shot at your local pharmacy or health care provider. (Student Health and Counseling Services [SHACS] is out of flu vaccine.) Public Health still has flu vaccine available. Their contact number is 641-236-2385. Remember, you can't get the flu from the vaccine, and the more people who are vaccinated, the safer we are as a community (herd immunity).
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.
- Wash your hands regularly.Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available to help protect yourself.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- CoughSore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) We recognize that College staff is very committed to their work; however, it is kinder to yourself and our community (especially those who are more vulnerable) if you stay home.
As the College, area medical centers and schools plan for flu season, you need to prepare as well....
- Make plans to care for sick household members or for children if schools dismiss students or child care programs close.
- Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home. Have the following items on hand: a supply of fever-reducing medicines that contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen, alcohol-based hand cleaners, tissues, and other items that may be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick.
Learn about the flu and what you can do. To find out more about preparing for the flu, go to www.flu.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
8 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Work
You can protect yourself and others by following these key action steps.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
- Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
- Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
- Do not use other workers' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a co-worker's phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first.
- Don't spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home. Symptoms of flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. CDC recommends that sick workers stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.