Flu season is upon us. At the University Health Center we are, as you can imagine, seeing many cases of the flu every day. I want to offer some simple steps you can take to keep yourself and the UGA community healthy.
Prevent the Flu
- Get a flu shot. The best way to prevent the flu is to be immune to the viruses. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, you should still get one.
- Practice good hand hygiene by either hand washing with soap and water or by using alcohol-based gels.
- Do not touch your face, eyes or mouth unless your hands are clean.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. An uncovered cough or sneeze can project respiratory droplets 3 to 6 feet or more.
Treating the Flu
The flu is a contagious disease that is caused by one of many influenza viruses. It primarily attacks the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The flu usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms: fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches and insomnia.
- Stay home if you are sick. A good rule of thumb if you have the flu is that you should stay home as long as you have a fever. You can return to school or work if you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever reducing medicines.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- If you live in a residence hall, consider going to your permanent home until you have recovered.
- Take medication to relieve the symptoms of flu.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
For more information about the flu, getting a flu shot and when to seek a health care provider, visit the University Health Center’s Influenza site.
For more flu information from a student perspective, check out What’s Your Flu I.Q.?!
UGA students can schedule University Health Center primary medical care appointments online at www.uhs.uga.edu, using the UHC Patient Portal.
Written by: Dr. Jean Chin, University Health Center Executive Director