This page is designed to provide current information regarding health issues which impact the university community. We will post health alerts and official university advisories here for your convenience. A list of helpful websites are also available here for further reference.
2013-2014 Seasonal Flu Information
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine soon after it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.
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Here are simple things you can do to avoid catching or spreading any flu virus:
WASH YOUR HANDS
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
AVOID CLOSE CONTACT
Limit contact with individuals who are sick, and if you are sick, isolate yourself from others as much as possible.
Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest and take a fever reducer like acetaminophen or an NSAID. If your symptoms are severe, or you are at risk for flu complications, you should seek medical attention promptly.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your elbow, never into your hands. Toss tissues in the trash after one use.
Stay home or in your dorm room unless absolutely necessary. How long should you hibernate? The CDC recommends that you stay isolated for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol.) You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
How Does the Flu Spread?
The flu virus spreads through air in droplets when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, laughs or talks. You can also become infected when you touch a surface on which the droplets have landed and then transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth.
What Are the Symptoms of Flu?
You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever, usually higher than 100⁰F, and chills
- Sore throat
- Body and muscle aches
- Dry cough
- Runny nose
- Tiredness and weakness
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Prevention and Treatment
In addition to the Safety Precautions listed above, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of antiviral medications for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the flu virus. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early (within the first 2 days of symptoms) to treat people who are very sick (such as those who are hospitalized) or people who are sick with flu symptoms and who are at increased risk of severe flu illness, such as pregnant women, young children, people 65 and older and people with certain chronic health conditions.
For more information call or come by the Felix H. Dunn Health Services Center at601.877.6460
Take a look at some very short, creative PSAs produced for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Serviceshttp://www.youtube.com/usgovhhs
Visit FLU.gov for more vital information
The Center for Disease Control
The Mississippi Department of Health