Action Steps for Students, Faculty, and Staff to Prevent the Spread of Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following ways for you to keep from getting sick with the flu:

  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
  • Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate, friend, or family member to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.
  • Talk to your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu and/or 2009 H1N1 flu. Information about 2009 H1N1 flu vaccination can be found at: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination. Information about seasonal flu vaccine can be found at: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
  • Frequently clean your living quarters. If you live together with other students, you should frequently clean such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, countertops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas.
  • Frequent clean surfaces and items that are more likely to have frequent hand contact such as desks, door knobs, keyboards, or counters, with cleaning agents or alcohol-based wipes.

If you are sick with the flu, follow these steps to take care of yourself and to keep others healthy.

  • Know the signs and symptoms of flu. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.
  • Cover you mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Sick people should stay at home or in their residence, except to go to the health care provider's office.
  • Stay in a separate room and avoid contact with others. If someone is caring for you, wear a mask, if available and tolerable, when they are in the room.
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, and electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from becoming dehydrated.
  • Contact your health care provider or Student Health Services if you are at higher risk for complications from flu for treatment. People at higher risk for flu complications include children under the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people age 65 years and older.
  • Contact a healthcare provider or Student Health Services if your symptoms are getting worse.
  • If you are having difficulty breathing and need to go to the hospital, contact University Police at 911 from campus phones or (631) 632-3333 from non-campus phones.

If flu conditions become MORE severe, students, faculty, and staff should consider the following steps:

  • Extend the time you stay home or at your residence to at least 7 days, even if you feel better sooner. If you are still sick after 7 days, continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after your symptoms have completely gone away. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Prepare for the possibility suspension of classes by planning to continue your work at home (e.g., homework packets, Web-based lessons, phone calls), and find a place where you can stay either by going to your home, home of a relative, or close friend of the family.


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