Protecting the Campus from Influenza
To All Students, Faculty and Staff:
Influenza (flu) is prevalent throughout New York State — one of 49 states in the US that are currently experiencing widespread flu activity. The predominant virus this season is Influenza A (H3N2), which has been associated with increased hospitalizations, especially among those with pre-existing health conditions. Flu can be spread easily from person to person, therefore, we are urging everyone in the campus community to take steps to prevent the spread of flu at Stony Brook University.
This year's flu virus is particularly virulent, and the CDC strongly recommends vaccination as the best known protection. People at higher risk for flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). It is not too late; talk with your health care provider(s) about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu.
We are currently monitoring our campus community and will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available to us.
For now, here are a few things you can do to help protect yourself and others:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers/cleaners also are effective.
- Practice respiratory etiquette by covering 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. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
- Frequently clean your living quarters. If you live with others, you should frequently clean commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, countertops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas.
- Do not share drinking glasses or utensils. The main way the flu spreads is through the droplets of coughs, sneezes and sharing items that are meant to be for single, individual use.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of flu include fever (usually high, over 100 F), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
- If you are a residential student and think you have the flu, notify your RA/RHD and contact the Student Health Center for instructions and care.
- Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick. Do not go to class or work until your fever (100F) has been gone for at least 24 hours. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications which includes medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- If you have symptoms, there are medications that may be effective in lessening the severity and shortening the course of the disease. Check as soon as possible with your healthcare provider so you can be seen, to see if this is appropriate for you.
For more information about flu in our community visit www.stonybrook.edu/flu
For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit www.flu.gov, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
We will notify you of any additional changes to our institution’s strategy to prevent the spread of flu on our campus.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.