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H1N1 FLU INFORMATION

Flu germ
9/14/2009 —

As many in the medical community have predicted, the H1N1 flu is spreading throughout our area and will continue to do so this fall. In order to keep you updated, we will be sending periodic announcements with updated information as necessary.

We should continue to be proactive about minimizing the potential for contracting the flu. Avoid sharing pens and pencils, phones, keyboards, etc. Have extra pens on hand that students or others can keep after using. If you are in a situation where you need students' ID numbers or credit card information, ask them to read the numbers to you instead of handling the cards. And in addition to washing hands frequently and thoroughly, remember to use hand sanitizer after touching common door handles, water coolers, etc.

But if you should come down with the flu, the recommended strategy is to simply stay home and get well (that goes for employees as well as students). It's our hope that everyone will heed this advice and help mitigate the spread of the flu.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE THE FLU

The flu is a serious respiratory infection that affects millions of people each year and spreads easily through the respiratory droplets of an infected person.  Symptoms of seasonal and the new H1N1 flu are similar and impossible to distinguish based on symptoms.  Although recovery may take several days, most people recover from the flu (including H1N1 flu) with rest and proper self-care strategies.

What are flu symptoms?

Fever (usually 100 degrees or greater) and cough and/or sore throat
Other symptoms may include:  body aches, chills, mild headache, runny nose and/or nasal congestion, and occasionally vomiting or diarrhea.

Seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve, then return with fever and a more severe cough
Severe headache or neck stiffness
Difficulty swallowing fluids

What should I do if I’ve been diagnosed with the flu or have influenza-like symptoms?

People who are pregnant, have a chronic medical condition (such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or heart disease), or are immuno-compromised, are at greater risk for developing severe illness from the flu. If you, or anyone you have been in close contact with while ill, have these conditions, contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Go home to recuperate. You may return once you have recovered and are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

Isolate yourself at home until 24 hours after fever has cleared without the use of fever-reducing medications. If you live with someone, you may need to wear a mask to prevent the spread of your illness.

Let someone know that you are sick.  Ask a friend to check on you daily while you’re not feeling well.

Cover all coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue and discard immediately into a trash can.

Wash hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer—especially after coughing, sneezing, or wiping your nose.

Increase your fluid intake.

Have personal care items available such as hand sanitizer, tissues, over-the-counter medicines to treat flu symptoms, a thermometer, and fluids. It takes about a week to recover from the flu so make sure you have enough supplies available for this time period.

Treatment

Take over-the-counter medications as needed for relief of symptoms.

For additional information, please visit:
University Health Services
www.sa.psu.edu/uhs
Flu.psu.edu
Centers for Disease Control
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm
www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm

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