Influenza (the flu) can spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks and spreads the virus into the air, and other people breathe in the virus.
When these viruses enter the nose, throat or lungs of a person, they begin to multiply, causing symptoms of the flu. A critical step in flu prevention is getting vaccinated. Landmark students can get their flu vaccines during the annual flu vaccine clinic:
The Annual Flu Vaccine Clinic is held in the Dining Hall Conference B on the following dates and times:
- Monday, September 23, 2013: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 9, 2013: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Cost is $25.00
- Can be paid by cash, check or student tuition account.
What Can You Do To Keep From Getting the Flu or Spreading It to Others
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you’re planning a visit, it’s OK to ask first whether anyone in the household is sick. If so, make plans to visit another time. If you're sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Stay home when you are sick.
- If possible, stay home from work, school and public places when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose every time you cough or sneeze.
- It is best to use a tissue and then put used tissues in the trash.
Wash your hands often and well.
- Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand wipes are also helpful.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
Clean surfaces you touch often.
- If someone in your household has symptoms of a cold or flu, clean surfaces such as door knobs, water faucets, refrigerator handle, telephone, etc. often.
Don’t share anything that goes into your mouth.
- This includes eating utensils, cups, straws, cigarettes, etc.
- Keep healthy by getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of liquid, getting regular exercise, and eating nutritious foods.
Stopping Germs at Home, Work & School
The main way that illnesses like colds and the flu are spread is from person to person, via respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. This is called “droplet spread.” This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and are deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Sometimes germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from a person nearby.
Germs can also be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs and desks.
How to Stop the Spread of Germs
In a nutshell, take care to:
- Cover your mouth and nose
- Clean your hands often
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
The “Happy Birthday” song helps keep your hands clean?
We recommend that when you wash your hands—with soap and warm water—that you wash for 20 seconds. That’s about the same time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice!
When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
Is It a Cold or Flu?
|Fever||Rare in Adults, but can be as high as 102° F in infants and small children||Usually 102° F, can go to 104° F; lasts 3-4 days|
|Headache||Rare||Can be severe|
|General Aches, Pains||Mild||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue, Weakness||Mild||Can last up to 2-3 weeks|
|Extreme Exhaustion||Never||Sudden onset; can be severe|
|Chest Discomfort||Mild to moderate; hacking cough||Usual; can become severe|
|Complications||Sinus congestion or earache||Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening|
What To Do If You Get the Flu
When are you contagious?
A person who is sick with the flu can spread viruses. That means they are contagious. Adults are usually contagious from one day before having symptoms to seven days after getting sick. Children can be contagious for longer than seven days.
What to do if you get sick with the flu:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Don’t use alcohol or tobacco.
- Stay home from work or school to protect others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze.
- Take medication to lessen the symptoms, like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen). DO NOT use aspirin.
Call Health Services right away if your flu symptoms are very serious.
Emergency Warning Signs for Adults
Call Health Services if you have any of these symptoms.
- High or prolonged fever
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Near-fainting or fainting
- Severe or persistent vomiting
If you are at special risk from complications of the flu, call as soon as symptoms begin.
People at special risk of flu complications include:
- People age 65 or older
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions
- Pregnant women
- Young children
Complications of flu include pneumonia, bronchitis, dehydration, and sinus and ear infections. The flu can make chronic health problems worse.
In some cases, your health care provider may choose to use certain antiviral drugs to treat the flu. Influenza is caused by a virus, so antibiotics don’t work to cure it. Antiviral treatment lasts for five days and must be started within two days of the illness.
There are other respiratory viruses, including rhinovirus (one cause of the “common cold”) that can spread during the flu season and cause symptoms and illnesses similar to the flu.