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Flu season underway

Graphics courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Take precautions to stay healthy

Flu season is underway and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is widespread in most of the United States.

The state of Delaware is seeing increased flu activity, as is the University of Delaware campus. To lessen the risk of getting the flu, Dr. Tim Dowling, director of Student Health Services, recommends that all members of the campus community take action.

According to the CDC, the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses is to get a flu vaccine. Student Health Services and the Nurse Managed Primary Care Center have already distributed their supplies and are currently working to obtain more. The vaccine is still available at local drugstores; students are encouraged to call before they visit to ensure that the vaccine is in stock

Flu preventive measures

Student Health Services follows the CDC and National Foundation of Infectious Disease guidelines during flu season and offers the following guidance.

Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with those who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too. Students who are diagnosed with the flu will be asked to self-quarantine (i.e., stay in their room/home) until they are fever free without medication for 24 hours. Single stall, all gender restrooms are available in many campus spaces, and Student Health Services has masks available for those who would like them.

Stay home when ill
If possible, stay home from work, school or errands when you are sick. You will help others from catching your illness. Students diagnosed with the flu at Student Health Services will get a Dean’s letter to excuse them from class sent to their college. Student Health Services may also be able to provide a Dean’s letter if a student can supply a note from a diagnosing physician that meets the appropriate criteria.

Cover your coughs
Cover your nose with a tissue when sneezing and dispose of the tissues properly. When coughing, cover your mouth with your arm, not your hand. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus if sick. Students will be provided a mask at Student Health Services when diagnosed and any student can come to Laurel Hall and pick up a mask at any time.

Wash your hands
Washing your hands with soap and water often will help protect you from germs. The University has alcohol hand-cleaning dispensers throughout campus.

Avoid touching your face
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Practice good health habits
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, manage your stress and eat nutritious foods. Have a friend or a roommate bring you food while you are sick.

Is it cold or flu?

If you get the flu

UD students who get sick should call Student Health Services for an appointment at 302-831-2226.

Faculty and staff should contact their personal physicians, or they can contact UD’s Nurse Managed Primary Care Center on the STAR Health Sciences Complex at 540 South College Ave. To schedule an appointment call 302-831-3195.

For more information on flu, visit the CDC website.

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