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Southeast Missouri State University

Influenza Prevention Information for Southeast Missouri State University Community

Flu season is hitting the nation hard, and Southeast Missouri State University is doing what it can to prevent the spread of the illness.

A subcommittee of the University's Emergency Response Team, chaired by Doug Richards, director of Public Safety, met Jan. 10 to plan for the possibility of an influenza outbreak at Southeast. The subcommittee reminds everyone of the importance of getting a flu vaccine. Contact your physician, local health department or the Campus Health Clinic for vaccination information.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

To prevent the spread of the flu virus:

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash you hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick.  The CDC recommends you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Promote good health practices to improve or maintain a healthy immune system to fight infections:

  • Get plenty of rest (seven hours of sleep a night recommended)
  • Eat regularly and don't skip meals.  Choose variety, including fruits and vegetables, lean meats and proteins, low fat milk and milk products, health grains, plenty of water daily.  Staying hydrated is very important, particularly as the temperature and humidity stay high.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Manage stress effectively.

Recommendations to Combat All Varieties of Flu Viruses

Residence Hall Students

  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer available in each computer lab prior to touching a computer keyboard.
  • Keep in your residence hall room basic supplies for prevention strategies, such as a thermometer, Tylenol and Ibuprofen, Kleenex, Clorox-type wipes to clean surfaces, hand sanitizer to carry when no soap/water is accessible, and paper towels to avoid over use of cloth towels that can spread germs.
  • Call the Campus Health Clinic (651-2270) or your personal physician.  Do NOT go to the Campus Health Clinic or your personal physician's office without CALLING FIRST.  This minimizes spread of the virus and provides for more efficient care.
  • Students who are ill with the flu should "self-isolate" - i.e., severely curtail interactions with others except to seek medical care - until at least 24 hours after you no longer display fever symptoms without the aid of fever-reducing medicine.
  • If possible, ill students should return home to recuperate and minimize the risk of infecting others.  Do not use public transportation to travel.
  • If you cannot return home, you should be isolated as much as possible.  Contact your Hall Director for instructions.  Plans are in place for alternative isolation areas.
  • Residence hall students who can utilize distance-learning methods may be able to continue studies even while ill (as your health allows).
  • If you are ill, telephone or e-mail your instructors to let them know about your situation.
  • If close contact with others cannot be avoided, the ill student should be asked to wear a surgical mask during the period of contact.  Examples of close contact include kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, or having any other contact between persons likely to result in exposure to respiratory droplets.

Commuter Students

  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer available in each computer lab prior to touching a computer keyboard.
  • Call the Campus Health Clinic (651-2270) or your personal physician.  Do NOT go to the Campus Health Clinic or your personal physician's office without CALLING FIRST.  This minimizes spread of the virus and provides for more efficient care.
  • Commuter students ill with the flu should practice self-isolation (whether at their own home or the home of a relative/friend) and not return to campus until they have recovered - at least 24 hours after you no longer display fever symptoms without the aid of fever-reducing medicine.
  • Commuter students who can utilize distance-learning methods may be able to continue studies even while ill (if your health allows).
  • If you are ill, telephone or e-mail your instructors to let them know about your situation.

Faculty and Staff

  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer
  • Call the Campus Health Clinic (651-2270) or your personal physician if you experience symptoms.  Do NOT go to the Campus Health Clinic or your personal physician's office without CALLING FIRST.  This minimizes spread of the virus and provides for more efficient care.
  • Practice self-isolation and do not return to campus until you have recovered - at least 24 hours after you no longer display fever symptoms without the aid of fever-reducing medicine.
  • If you are ill, telephone or e-mail your supervisor to let them know about your situation.
  • Keep basic supplies on hand for prevention strategies in your classroom, such as Kleenex, Clorox-type wipes to clean surfaces, hand sanitizer and paper towels.
  • Facilities administrators should ensure that all facilities, particularly residence halls, classrooms, elevators, dining halls, and other high-contact areas, are cleaned frequently.
  • Faculty are encouraged to develop distance learning strategies, flextime and remote working arrangements, and other methods of limiting face-to-face contact while maintaining operations in the event of a declared campus outbreak of flu.  Such planning should include course coverage for faculty and continuity of business operations for administrators and staff.
  • If you suspect a student might have the flu, encourage them to call the Campus Health Clinic in Crisp Hall, Room 101, phone 651-2270.
  • Reassure students that the flu is common, usually a mild illness, and for all types of flu there are practical prevention methods and treatment options.

Is it the Flu or Just a Cold?

SYMPTOMS COLD FLU
Fever Less than 100°F in adults >100°F; lasts 3 to 4 days
Headache Rare Sudden onset and can be severe
Muscle Ache Mild Usual and often severe
Tiredness and Weakness Mild Can last more than 2 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Sudden onset and can be severe
Runny Nose Often Sometimes
Sneezing Often Sometimes
Sore Throat Often Sometimes
Cough Mild hacking cough Usual and can become severe

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