How Should I Prepare for Flu Season?
Get the flu vaccine! The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. The flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine soon after it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.
Please remember, if you have the flu, please don't bring it to campus! Remember to stay at home (or in your residence hall) until 24 hours after you no longer have a fever. Following the following guidelines of the Center For Disease Control will help keep you and those around you healthy.
- Practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing or sanitizing your hands.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow or shoulder (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Coughing into your hands can easily contaminate other surfaces. (Humorous video demonstrating the best way to cough into your shoulder or arm.)
- Go home and stay home if you are sick. Remain in your home or residence until 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). Weber State has encouraged faculty to work with students to find a mutually acceptable way to complete coursework if you are either sick or caring for a sick family member.
- Analyze your routine and think of things you can do your to prevent flu transmission. Make a point to wash or sanitize your hands after using a shared computer and frequently clean commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls and faucet areas.
- Contact your physician if you have a temperature of more than 101 degrees and other flu- like symptoms. There is no charge for WSU students to be seen at Weber State University's Student Health Center and lab services are available for a nominal fee.
How Does the Flu Spread?
The flu, including the H1N1 flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses. For some, the virus can cause a mild illness, while others develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. The main way illnesses like colds and flu are spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. If you have the flu, help stop the spread and stay home!
Germs also can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. The period when an infected person with seasonal flu is contagious depends on the age and health of the person. Studies show that most healthy adults may be able to infect others from one day prior to becoming sick and for five to seven days after they first develop symptoms. The CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after any fever is gone. The time from when a person is exposed to the flu virus to when symptoms begin is about one to four days, with an average of about two days.
Developing healthy day-to-day habits can help prevent many common illnesses, including the flu. Experts are asking individuals to analyze their daily routine and be vigilant about steps which could prevent flu transmission. Habits such as making a point to wash/sanitize your hands before and after using a shared computer can go a long way in keeping you, and others, healthy.
Prevention is Key - Check Your Sneeze Etiquette!
How do you rate? Since colds and flu are often spread from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes, often called "droplet spread", it is important to make certain you are doing your part to prevent illness. Check your sneeze etiquette with this humorous video and find out how well you do. Proper cough reminder posters for your office are also available in English or Spanish from the Weber-Morgan Health Department.
» CDC English/Spanish Hotline open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636
» Cold or Flu? Interactive Tool for a Quick Reference * This interactive tool is not a substitute for a professional, on-site medical diagnosis.