Influenza (“the Flu”)

Today’s Daily Deac is guest authored by Dr. Joanne Clinch, Clinical Director, Student Health Service.  Dr. Clinch provided the information below about influenza (“the flu”).

We know issues of student health are very important for parents and families.  Please know that any future updates from Student Health will be posted on the News section of the main Parents’ Page (just below the large rotating pictures on the main page); older news stories are always  accessible via the News archive.

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Influenza is now widespread in North Carolina.  There are key ways to help your student from contracting the flu and how to recognize and treat symptoms of the flu. Influenza is easily spread from person to person.  The best way to prevent influenza is to obtain a flu vaccine.  It is not too late to receive a flu shot which is currently available at Student Health Service. During flu season, individuals are encouraged to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer or to wash their hands frequently in order to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting influenza.  Individuals who have a cough should use a tissue to cover their mouths when coughing.

Symptoms of influenza include:

Fever (>100)
Cough
Sore Throat
Body Aches
Fatigue
Headache

To help reduce the spread of influenza, individuals with these symptoms should remain in their rooms or at home until they are without fever for 24 hours.  This means no class attendance, no eating in dining facilities, and no participation in extracurricular activities. Arrangements to allow friends to pick up meals from the dining halls using a student’s meal plan have been arranged.  The faculty has also been made aware of the outbreak and will encourage students to not attend class if they are ill with a fever.

Most healthy patients recover without complications from the flu. Symptoms of complications for which individuals should seek medical attention include:

  • Symptoms lasting over 5 days without signs of improvement.
  • Fever persisting for more than 2 or 3 days or any fever over 103 degrees not relieved by Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
  • Severe cough or cough producing large amounts of phlegm.
  • Severe sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
  • Severe headaches or stiff neck
  • Rash

For more information about influenza:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

http://shs.wfu.edu/common/influenza/

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

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