Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the flu and the common cold?
This flu comes on much more quickly than the common cold, has more severe symptoms, and typically lasts 3 to 5 days.
What are the symptoms?
- Fever above 100 o
- Chills and cough or sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
Signs of fever include feeling very warm, having a flushed appearance, sweating or shivering.
Who is at highest risk for this type of flu?
Unlike seasonal flu, which usually strikes elderly people the hardest, the latest flu virus has mostly targeted teenagers and young adults.
How does flu spread?
Mainly from person to person, by coughing, sneezing, or by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching the nose or mouth. It cannot be contracted by eating pork products.
Seasonal Flu Prevention and Treatment
How can I protect myself from getting the flu?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Cough or sneeze into your upper arm if you do not have a tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus, e.g., doorknobs, desks, computers keyboards and faucets.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Keep surfaces touched by more than one person clean and disinfected with a combination detergent and disinfectant product or sanitizing wipes. Examples of these surfaces include doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, microwaves, remote controls, and computer keyboards.
Stay in good general health by:
- getting plenty of sleep
- being physically active
- managing your stress
- drinking plenty of fluids
- eating nutritious food.
Should I get a flu shot?
Talk to your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated against seasonal flu. Information about seasonal flu vaccine can be found at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.
If I think I have the flu, what should I do?
Call Health Service to determine if flu testing or treatment is necessary. For after-hours care, resident students should call the front desk of their Living Learning Center for assistance.
What is the recommended treatment?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most healthy people will recover from the flu without needing medical care. For symptom relief, take fever reducing medication (not aspirin), drink lots of tea, water or juice and get plenty of rest. Stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours after you are fever-free (without medication) to avoid infecting others.
Contact your own health care provider or the Health Service as soon as possible if you suspect you have the flu.
Seek emergency medical care if you develop the following symptoms: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worsening cough..