In light of widespread influenza activity across the state as well as increased flu cases in the Arkansas Tech University Health and Wellness Center, ATU Health Services would like to share some important information regarding the flu.
FIGHTING THE FLU: Frequently Asked Questions
How is the flu spread?
According to the CDC, most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-to-4 days after their illness begins, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-to-7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.
How can I help prevent the flu?
· Get a flu vaccine, which is available free of charge to students in the ATU Health and Wellness Center.
· If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care. If you must go out, wear a mask (available in the ATU Health and Wellness Center).
· Avoid close contact with sick people.
· Avoid touching the eyes or nose.
· Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and use a tissue or your sleeve.
· Dispose of tissues properly.
· Disinfect frequently touched objects such as telephone receivers, counter tops and door knobs throughout the day.
· Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitizer.
What are some common flu symptoms?
· Fever or feeling feverish/chills
· Sore throat
· Runny or stuffy nose
· Muscle or body aches
· Fatigue (very tired)
What should I do if I think I have the flu?
· Students can be evaluated for the flu in the Health and Wellness Center by making an appointment online or by calling (479) 968-0329.
· Typically, self-isolation is recommended. Please see health provider for specific treatment recommendations.
· Treatment of sick individuals with a prescription drug Tamiflu is recommended by the CDC primarily if there is another underlying health condition such as asthma, HIV or diabetes. These drugs may make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. These drugs work best when started within the first 2 days of symptoms to treat people who are very sick.