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H1N1 Flu Information

Preventing the Flu

The single best way to help prevent the flu is to get the flu shot each fall. For this year the
CDC recommends that all students receive the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1
vaccine.

The following simple tips also help prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water or hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. If you do not have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Do not share items that can spread germs and viruses, like drinking cups, utensils, toothbrushes or food.
  • Stay home from school or work and avoid public activities if you are sick.
  • Keep your immune system healthy by eating nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough exercise and sleep.

REMEMBER: You can’t get flu from the flu shot.

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How to Determine if You Have the Flu

Seasonal and H1N1 Influenza Symptoms:

  • fever above 100.4 F
  • body aches
  • cough
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • fatigue

Have a fever above 100.4 F with cough or sore throat?

If NO: You are not showing signs of the flu. It is okay to go to class or lab.
If YES: You may be showing signs of the flu

    • DO NOT go to class or lab.
    • Contact the Student Health Center or your primary health care provider.
    • DO NOT return to class or lab until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever.

Develop symptoms while in class or lab?

  • Inform your professor/TA or working group in the lab that you have developed symptoms.
  • GO TO YOUR ROOM OR HOME,
  • Contact the Student Health Center or your primary health care provider

Think you may have been exposed to someone with H1N1?

Check yourself to determine if you have flu symptoms and follow the same instructions.
Seek emergency medical care if you develop difficulty breathing, pain or pressure
in your chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness or confusion, severe or persistent
vomiting, or flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and
worse cough.

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Know the Difference Between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

 Symptom

Cold

H1N1 Flu

Fever

Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is very common with the flu, present in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100 F or higher for 3-4 days is associated with the flu.

Coughing

A hacking, productive (mucus-producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (not mucus-producing) cough is usually present with the flu. This is sometimes referred to as a "dry cough."

Aches

Slight body aches and pains can be part of the cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills

Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness

Tiredness is fairly common with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is severe with the flu.

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Self Care for Cold and Flu Symptoms

Although medications will not cure the cold or flu, they may relieve the symptoms. Choose over-the-counter medications that contain only the ingredients you need.

Antibiotics, such as penicillin, Amoxicillin or Erythromycin, are not effective against viruses.  However, your health care provider may prescribe an antibiotic or antiviral if indicated.

General Self-Care Tips:

  • Stay at home and get plenty of rest
  • Drink plenty of water/fluids
  • Stop smoking
  • Be patient

To Relieve a Sore Throat:

  • Stop smoking
  • Gargle with lukewarm saltwater 3-4 times a day
  • Moisten throat with lozenges, or sugar free hard candy
  • Use a sore throat spray (Chloraseptic), or a lozenge (Cepacol)

 To Relieve Head, Nose and Ear Congestion: 

  • Drink hot liquids such as chicken broth or soup
  • Apply warm, moist washcloths to your forehead and cheeks
  • Use a humidifier if available
  • Use salt water drops into your nose or a saline nasal mist spray
  • Take a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), phenylephrine or an antihistamine/decongestant combination (Dimetapp)

 To Relieve Chest Congestion/Cough:

  • Stop smoking
  • Drink plenty of water/fluids
  • Use a humidifier if available
  • Take an expectorant with guiafenesin (Robitussin DM)

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More Information

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