One of the top news stories this week is the rising number of flu cases. While the current strain of the flu virus is less virulent than the H1N1 virus of several years ago, it’s important to remember that any flu can easily spread from person to person.
The health and safety of the Augsburg Community is a top priority, so College staff are monitoring federal and state health resources and communicating with students, faculty and staff about flu season.
“Each member of our community—students, faculty, and staff—has a role to play in limiting the impact of flu on campus,” said Ann Garvey, vice president of Student Affairs.
“We are seeing stories about hospitals limiting visitors to restrict the spread of flu, and with students returning to campus and classes starting up again for all our programs, now is the time to remind Auggies how to stay healthy.”
Flu shot clinic:
The College’s Center for Counseling and Health Promotion will host a flu shot clinic in the Christensen Center East Commons on Wednesday, January 23, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. The flu shot is covered by insurance or $29 with cash or check. Detailed vaccination and vaccine safety information is available on www.flu.gov.
Current recommendations for staying healthy and preventing spread of flu (www.flu.gov):
– Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Be sure to disinfect your hands before eating and after using the washroom. Alcohol-based hand rub stations are located in many high-traffic areas on campus.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
– Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
– Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
– If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
What students should do if ill:
– If you have an Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), defined as fever equal to or greater than 100.0 plus a cough or sore throat, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you self-isolate until at least 24 hours after you are free of a fever of greater than 100 degrees F without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Self-isolation means staying away from people except to get medical care or necessities. You should avoid large group gatherings including classes, sporting events and public forms of transportation. For most cases this period of isolation would last from 3 to 5 days.
The full list of flu symptoms is available from www.flu.gov.
– Call the Dean of Students Office, 612-330-1160 and we will help notify your instructors. Professors are aware of these CDC recommendations and will do their best to be flexible with your missing classes.
If you live on campus and have an Influenza-Like-Illness, you should talk with your parents and family about going home, if you can, while you recuperate.
“We encourage students with flu to stay home and, if they live on campus, to go home to recuperate,” Garvey said. “We know this isn’t possible for all our students. But for those who can, it’s a smart move because their families will be able to provide a high level of care and monitoring.”
What to do if your on-campus roommate has Influenza-Like-Illness:
– Wash hands frequently
– Avoid close contact if possible
– If your roommate is not able to self-isolate by going to his/her permanent home, stay with a friend in their room. Or, if you live close by, consider going home for a few days and commuting to class.
If you are dealing with a situation and need assistance, please call the Dean of Students Office at 612-330-1160.
For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit www.flu.gov, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). Information on everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs is at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm.