Flu Activity at Grinnell College

January 28, 2020

Student Health and Wellness

Iowa, along with the rest of the United States, is experiencing increased flu activity. Help us take steps to prevent the spread of flu at Grinnell College.

What is influenza (the flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Experts believe flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Infrequently, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend that unvaccinated people get vaccinated.

How can you help prevent the flu?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
  • Don't share eating or drinking utensils.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Don't attend class if symptomatic.
  • Don't participate in athletics if symptomatic.

What are the symptoms?

  • fever or feeling feverish/chills — not everyone with flu will have a fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • vomiting or diarrhea — this is more common in children than adults.

When should you seek treatment?

As soon as you become symptomatic, please consult with a nurse at SHAW by calling 641-269-3230. SHAW is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. If you become ill after hours or on the weekend, call SHAW and consult with our after-hours nurse by following the prompts provided. If you feel you need to seek immediate treatment and don't have transportation to the local urgent care or emergency room, call Campus Safety at 641-269-4600 to request a ride to the local hospital.

Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) Support

Please reach out to SHAW, in person or via phone at 641-269-3230, if you become ill with flu-like symptoms. SHAW staff are able to help students who are ill in a variety of ways:

  • free Influenza testing per nurses discretion including Tamiflu treatment options
  • free over the counter medications
  • self-care kits as well as sick meal kits available
  • communication with dining for friends to pick up your meals
  • notification to faculty regarding missed class
  • daily wellness check-ins and care coordination 

Please feel free to reach out to SHAW for any additional questions or concerns at 641-269-3230.

For additional information, please refer to the CDC.

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