What to Do If You Have the Flu or Flu-Like Symptoms
Stay home. The CDC recommends that you stay home and keep away from other for at least 24 hours until after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine -like Tylenol or Motrin.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, athletic events/practice, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
Resident students who are unable to return home should remain in the residence hall room with their door closed at all times except to use the restroom. Contact Health Services to report symptoms and obtain a "Flu Care Pack". Meal delivery will be coordinated through the Office of Residence Life and Sodexho Food Services.
The CDC recommends that you wear a face mask, if available and tolerable during the following situations:
- you leave your house or resident hall room to seek medical care
- you leave your resident hall room to utilize the restroom
- you are within 6 feet of your roommates while in your room
Remember: The face mask should be worn over the nose and mouth and tied securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask. Replace masks with a clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid. Dispose of mask immediately upon removing. Also remember to use hand sanitizer just before leaving your room.
Seek emergency medical attention if you have any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen.
- Dizziness or confusion.
- Persistent vomiting and unable to keep clear liquids down.
- Signs of dehydration such as dizziness when standing, absence of urination, or confusion.
- Flu symptoms improve over a period of days but return with fever and cough.
Avoid direct physical contact with your roommate and others to protect them from catching your illness.
Report your symptoms to your physician
- If you have a health condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health condition check with your primary care physician about any special care you might need.
- Your symptoms worsen or fail to improve
Remember, symptoms of flu-like illness can generally last from 3 to 10 days.
Manage your fever. For relief of fever, medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) may be used as directed as needed to treat symptoms. It is not uncommon to have high fever with a flu-like illness; however a high fever that does not respond to appropriate doses of fever reducing medication should be reported to your doctor. Fever can last for 3 to 5 days. The fever should be decreasing in frequency and severity as days pass.
Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissue or other suitable materials to contain respiratory secretions. Dispose of the material immediately after use. Clean hands immediately after contact with respiratory secretions.
Discourage visits from your friends. You should not have visitors to your home or residence hall room. A phone call is safer than a visit.
Get lots of rest.
Drink plenty of liquids such as water, broth, sport (electrolyte) beverages to keep from being dehydrated. The fever that accompanies the flu causes your body to use more fluid than usual. As a result, you can become dehydrated. To avoid dehydration, generally speaking, attempt to drink roughly 1 to 2 liters of fluid a day as tolerated. You may not have your usual appetite. Focus on drinking plenty of clear liquids and advance your diet as you are able. Avoid drinking only water as it has no sugar source for energy or electrolytes. Mix it up. Alternate water with juices, sports drinks, teas and broths.
Contact your professors and/or employer. Be sure to communicate promptly with your professors or supervisor if you are absent from class or work, respectively.
Disinfect shared items regularly, such as remote controls, refrigerator handles, and doorknobs, and do not share personal items, such as drinks. (Common household cleaners, such as bleach-containing cleaners, Lysol, or other cleaners, such as alcohol based should be effective.)