Health Update

Symptoms of the Flu: Fever, Headache, Body Aches and Pains, Fatigue and weakness

Symptoms of a Cold:  Stuffy nose, Sneezing, Sore throat, Moderate productive cough

Coughing can spread respiratory droplets six feet.  You should cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away. If you do not have a tissue cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing then wash your hands.  The flu spreads from person to person.  An infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets move through the air and become deposited on the nose or mouth of people nearby.  Avoid touching your face.  People generally touch their faces several hundred times a day.  The virus can live on surfaces such as desks and doorknobs for 8 hours.

Vaccination is the most important way to prevent the flu.  You may have received your vaccine at the University sponsored flu clinics in the fall.  You may also have received the vaccine from your primary care physician or at local pharmacies and supermarkets in the community.  Vaccines are still available in the community at local pharmacies and supermarkets.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to help prevent getting and spreading the flu is to wash your hands often with soap and warm water.  Rub your hands vigorously scrubbing all surfaces.  Wash for at least 20 seconds.  When soap and water are not available use alcohol based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.  If using a gel, rub the gel until your hands are dry.  The alcohol in the gel kills germs that cause colds and the flu

If you feel ill stay home from school and work avoiding unnecessary contact with other people.  The Student Health Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You may call 610-519-4070 to schedule an appointment with a doctor or nurse practitioner.  You may also be evaluated as a walk-in patient by a registered nurse.  There are antiviral medications that can shorten the duration of your illness or prevent serious complications.  The flu can affect anybody.  Uncomplicated influenza gradually improves over two to five days, although the illness may last for one week or more. Some women who are pregnant and other people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease may be at risk for complications of the virus.  Although there can be complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, most people affected by the illness make a complete recovery. 

For more information regarding the flu visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/