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Flu Prevention

Your health is in your own two (clean!) hands, so follow this flu prevention advice from health experts. 

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Wipe down/clean shared surfaces (doorknobs, keyboards, phones, etc.) with disinfectant.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise on a regular basis and get plenty of rest.

Getting Your Flu Shot is Important

  • Flu outbreaks are preventable if everyone gets their shot.
  • More than 200,000 individuals are hospitalized annually from flu complications.
  • You can spread the flu before you even know you are sick.
  • The flu vaccine lasts for the entire flu season.

Annual flu shots are fully covered by most health insurance plans. However, if you are unsure of your flu vaccine coverage, please check with your insurance provider. 

Prepare a Health Kit for Flu Season

We encourage all members of our living and learning communities to prepare a health kit for self-care during the flu season. This kit should include:

  • Fever and pain relievers - acetaminophen, ibuprofen
  • Cough syrups - two types of cough syrups are useful: an expectorant with the main ingredient ingredient guaifenesin and a suppressant with the main ingredient dextromethorphan
  • Nasal sprays - saline nasal spray or a corticosteroid spray such as Nasacort with the main ingredient triamcinolone - used to treat stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes/nose/throat, sneezing
  • Decongestants - pseudoephedrine - narrows blood vessels in the nose lining allowing swollen tissue to shrink and air to flow more easily
  • Hand sanitizer - a good hand sanitizer should be at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Thermometer - know your temperature! 100.4 F degrees or higher is considered a fever
  • Fluids - aim to drink enough fluids to make your urine clear or light yellow, which indicates proper hydration
  • Tissues - lots and lots of tissues. Don't let used tissues lie around the house. Get them in the trash right after they are used. If a tissue isn't handy, cough into your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.