What is the influenza (flu)?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The illness can range from mild to severe. The best method of prevention is a flu vaccine. It is recommended that a new vaccine is received each year. Every Fall UNI offers free flu vaccines for employees while supplies last. For more information on the flu vaccine and preventing the flu visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/index.html.
What are signs and symptoms of the flu*?
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore Throat
- Nasal congestion
- Muscle or body aches
- Possible vomiting and diarrhea
*Symptoms may vary in severity and not everyone with the flu may have all symptoms.
How is the flu spread?
The flu is believed to be spread from droplets made when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. A person may also contract the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose.
What are the best ways to prevent the flu?
- Receive the flu vaccine.
- Wash your hands frequently and practice good hygiene.
- Carry alcohol based hand sanitizer for times when hand washing isn't an option.
- Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill.
- Use a sanitizer weekly on surfaces frequently used (i.e. tables, desks, key boards, door handles, remotes, phones).
- Stay home if you may have the flu or feel ill.
How to properly wash hands
- Wet hands with clean, warm water, and apply soap.
- Lather by rubbing hands together, and covering all surfaces and under finger nails.
- Continue rubbing hands together for 20-30 seconds -- sing the ABC's in your head.
- Thoroughly rinse hands under warm water.
- Use paper towels or hand dryers to dry hands.
- If unable to wash hands, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.