- Advice to Keep Healthy
- H1N1 Flu Facts
- Steps to Reduce the Risk
- What is the flu?
- What are the symptoms of the flu?
- What do I do if I get the flu?
- When should I see my doctor?
The media is full of H1N1 Swine flu information and alerts. Any flu virus can be devastating and the Swine flu will be no exception. Symptoms of the disease are the same as for any other flu. Symptoms include sore throat, cough, body aches, fever, and fatigue. Public Health experts predict that the Swine flu will be prevalent during this year’s flu season. Prevention remains the best practice for fighting the flu, no matter what strain it may be. Prevention measures include:
- Careful hand washing. No special soaps or cleansers are needed. Plain soap and water will suffice.
- When soap and water are not available, the use of an alcohol based hand sanitizer is recommended.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes in facial tissue and dispose of properly; when tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.
- If you are ill with the symptoms for flu, stay home. Do not go to work or attend social gatherings. You can socialize again once your fever is gone for 24 hours without the use of fever reducers (Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).
- Get your regular flu vaccine yearly.
The seasonal flu vaccine will be available in late September for students at no charge. Vaccinations will be available until the supply is gone. A vaccine for H1N1 is being developed. The Center for Disease Control has issued a priority list for which individuals should receive the vaccine. The top three priorities are as follows:
- Pregnant women and infants from six months to 24 months.
- People with immune deficient diseases, diabetes, severe asthma, COPD, etc.
- Medical personnel who are involved in direct patient care.
Alfred State College has developed a pandemic plan (password required) to follow in case of an epidemic/pandemic outbreak. Web sites that may be of interest for more information are www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu and http://www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call Health Services at (607) 587-4200.
- WHO (World Health Organization ) declared a global pandemic on June 11, 2009.
- H1N1 is an airborne virus in droplet form only. Transmission is through direct contact and most likely passed via hands.
- The Swine flu virus is transferred when an individual contacts the virus and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth before washing their hands.
- To date, the most affected age groups are 5-24 years of age. (CDC)
- Individuals over 60 years of age are most likely to have immunity built up for this virus. (CDC)
- The Swine flu can survive 2-8 hours on surfaces. (CDC)
- An individual is considered contagious from 1 day before they exhibit symptoms to 7 days after they become ill. (CDC)
- Frequent hand washing is the key.
- Frequent use of a hand sanitizer when a sink in not available.
- Avoid crowds or at least keep a safe distance from others (3 to 6 feet) to avoid the risk of droplet contamination.
- Get plenty of sleep-keeping the immune system strong.
- Get plenty of exercise for the same reason.
- Stay home if you are experiencing flu symptoms (fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat).
Flu is a viral illness that affects the respiratory system. There are many strains of viruses that cause Influenza (flu). Examples of common flu strains are Swine, Avian (Bird), Hong Kong, Flu, Asian, and European. Flu is a respiratory illness and caused by a virus. An intestinal illness usually symptomatic with nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and fever is NOT the flu. These illnesses are also most likely caused by a virus.
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Sneezing, runny, or stuffy nose
- Fevers (temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more)
- Body aches, head ache
Persons are ill for about one week with 2 to 3 days of feeling more ill; otherwise they have mild symptoms. People with the flu often describe it as a “bad cold”.
- Stay home, avoid contact with others.
- Drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Take fever reducing medications. Tylenol or Motrin (aka Advil, Ibuprofen). You can alternate Tylenol and Motrin every two hours for 24 hours to reduce high fevers and body aches.
- If your fever is 102 degrees or higher and does not come down with medications, you should be seen by a health care provider.
- Treat your symptoms- A decongestant for nasal congestion or runny nose; Tylenol or Motrin for fever, headache and body aches; cough syrup for the coughs; drink plenty of liquids to keep from dehydrating.
- Your health care provider may prescribe an antiviral medication. This medication reduces the severity of symptoms and duration of the illness, it is NOT a cure. Anti-virals are not for everyone; your health care provider can determine the need and who should get it.
Some people have the flu so mildly that they do not realize it. It is important to remember the preventative measures.
- Wash your hands and when soap and water are not available, use alcohol (60%) based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes in disposable tissue or in the bend of your arm.
- Avoid crowed areas, and people who might be ill.
- Get your seasonal flu vaccine yearly.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
It is best that you not see your health care provider unless necessary as to not expose others to your illness or expose yourself to other strains. Following the suggestions for your care during a flu or flu like illness will help you to recover faster and with less discomfort.
If you have any questions, please call the Health Center at (607) 587-4200. This is a public health concern and we want all members of our college community to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of any communicable disease.