What Allegheny students need to know…
- Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
Those at greater risk of complications from the flu include:
- Ages less than 5 or 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- Those with a co-existing medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes mellitus
How To Prevent It
- Stay Informed!
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
- Dispose of used tissues.
- WASH YOUR HANDS often with soap and hot water.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth — GERMS SPREAD THAT WAY!
- STAY HOME if you are sick so that you don’t infect others.
- GET A FLU SHOT!
Most patients have typical flu-like symptoms that tend to be mild.
Commonly reported symptoms:
- Sore Throat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea occur in some of patients.
How To Manage It
- Students who have flu-like symptoms should self-isolate for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). If feasible, students should to home to recuperate.
- Self-care measures include: get plenty of rest and fluids and take medications such as fever reducers and pain medicine (acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen).
- Medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are recommended for treatment of flu only in special circumstances, for example, in pregnant women, patients with high-risk medical conditions, and hospitalized and critically ill patients.
- Remember, the Health Center does NOT give class excuses for flu. Please e-mail your professors to let them know you have the flu.
If you roommate or other close contact is told that she/he may have flu and you have a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other serious chronic condition, are immunosuppressed due to a medical condition or medications, or are pregnant, then you should contact Winslow Health Center (814-332-4355) to schedule an appointment. You may benefit from antiviral medication.
Warning Signs — SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
- Sudden dizziness.
- Severe headache with stiff neck.
- Severe or persistent vomiting.
- Flu symptoms that improve temporarily, but then return with fever and worse cough, which could be a sign of pneumonia.