Student Health Service reports multiple cases of flu on campus
Student Health Service has diagnosed multiple cases of Influenza A this week. Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death; however, most healthy people recover from the flu without any complications.
Symptoms of flu include:
- Fever (usually high)
- Extreme tiredness
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections.
Some people, such as older people, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
How flu spreads
Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person, though sometimes people become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Here’s how you can help prevent the spread of flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
If you get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. Also, you can take medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) to relieve the fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever.
Check out these additional resources:
- Student Health Service (651) 962-6750
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention