Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
With widespread influenza activity in MO currently, the Student Health Center would like to provide some suggestions to keep our campus healthy and prevent an onslaught of flu cases on campus. Remember, influenza is a contagious viral respiratory disease characterized by abrupt onset of fever, body aches, and cough or sore throat. Some individuals may experience headache, chills, fatigue, and runny or stuffy nose as well.
Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, we recommend that our community members take these precautions:
- If you haven’t already, get a flu shot. The Student Health Center currently has a limited supply of vaccine still available for students. Additionally, the Adair County Health Department provides flu shots to Adair Co. residents from 8-4 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Some local pharmacies and medical providers also provide the immunizations. Due to increased demand, many sources are running low or are currently out of stock, so it would be wise to call and confirm availability before you go.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces such as door handles. Coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow (“cough pocket”) is preferred to coughing into one’s hands. If you must cough or sneeze into your hands, do so using a tissue which you dispose of in a designated waste container.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. Students and university employees with flu symptoms should stay home from classes or work. Ill individuals should limit contact with others who are not sick. Students with flu-like symptoms should not return to class until they no longer have a fever (temperature of less than 100.5 F) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. They should email their professors as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu. We hope faculty and university supervisors will exercise liberal absence policies during this time when flu cases are on the rise in Missouri.
- Individuals should seek medical attention if they have acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or sore throat with a fever of more than 100.5 F. Antiviral medication for influenza should be taken within two days of symptom onset. If this is not possible, symptomatic treatment for fever, cough or sore throat is advised. If one becomes sicker even after being treated and on medication for several days, they should be rechecked to ensure they have not developed a secondary infection, such as pneumonia. Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, should immediately notify their health care provider if they have flu symptoms.
Our goal is for all of our students, faculty and staff to have a productive and healthy semester. Following the tips above can help ensure that is possible.
Yours in good health,
The Student Health Center Staff