The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection…and rest assured, the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu illness. If you are just returning for winter break, students can still go in to SHS for a flu shot by calling 701.777.4500. Staff and faculty can call their personal health provdier in the local community or the Grand Forks Public Health Department.
- Stay home from work and class to avoid spreading the virus
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Try to get the hang of coughing or sneezing into your elbow or bicep instead of your palms
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Aviod touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- REST. To survive the cold and flu season, don’t skimp on sleep.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you’re the one who is sick, keep a distance from others so as not to spread germs.
I think I have the flu, should I come to SHS?…
If you have flu-like symptoms, you should stay home. As a student, if you have concerns about your symptoms, call SHS at 701.777.4500. If you have had symptoms for 48 hours or MORE and do not have any complications, there is very little you can do besides rest as much as possible, treat your symptoms with fluids and pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen), and wait it out.
The most severe symptoms usually improve after two to five days, but may last up to a week. Cough and fatigue may persist for several weeks. Most people are able to return to work and class after five to seven days.
Flu shopping list:
- A thermometer
- Juices or sports drinks – ask a buddy to do the shopping…make sure you stay hydrated!
- Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen and/or naproxen
- If you’re under the age of 19, do not use aspirin to avoid the risk of Reye’s syndrome
- Avoid multi-use remedies, which often contain unneeded medication or doses of specific ingredients which may be too low to be effective
- If you have a sore throat, try non-prescription throat lozenges that numb the back of the throat
- Call Dining Services for a sick tray
How should I take care of myself if I have flu-like symptoms?
- Stay home for at LEAST 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine
- Get as much rest as possible
- Keep drinking fluids
- Monitor your temperature
- A lukewarm bath or shower can help reduce fever
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of medical care and fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
What if my roommate has flu symptoms and can’t go home?
- In the dorms: If your roommate needs self-isolation because they have a flu-like illness, they will need to stay in the dorm room except to use the bathroom, seek healthcare, or for an emergency until they no longer have a fever for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. Wash with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to and after using shared bathroom facilities. Students are expected to use these to keep their room as clean as possible out of respect for their roommate. Wipe surfaces with disinfectant surface cleaning wipes.
- In an apartment: Try to give the sick person their own room. If there is more than one sick person, they can share the sick room if needed. Wash with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to and after using shared bathroom facilities. Wipe surfaces with disinfectant surface cleaning wipes.
- Consider rooming with other campus friends when possible.
When should a person definitely seek medical treatment?
The flu without complications can be managed by time and conservative treatment measures and does not require a visit to a clinician. If you have asthma, diabetes, a weakened immune system, are pregnant, or have other chronic lung, heart, blood, or neurologic diseases, you should contact your health care provider if you develop flu-like symptoms.
But if you are unable to drink fluids and are becoming dehydrated, have a persistent fever that does not respond to aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, or experience difficulty breathing you should see a clinician. In addition, if your symptoms do not improve at all after a week, or if rare complications develop, you should see a clinician for the following:
Get medical help right away if…
You or someone you know develops these emergency signs: 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 but then return with fever and worse cough.
I have to miss class because of the flu. Does SHS give medical excuses?
UND Student Health Services is temporarily suspending class medical excuses (providing students with excuses for short-term asences from class or missed deadlines due to illness and/or injury). Regionally and nationally there has been a significant increase in respiratory influenza and it is our intention to ensure that adequate appointment times are available to provide care for individuals afflicted with influenza or influenza-like illness. Students who need to miss class due to illness/injury are encouraged to promptly notify their faculty that they are ill or injured and unable to attend class.