Preparing for the Flu
It has been said that the best defense is a good offense, and your best defense against the flu is to begin preparing before you become ill.
Know Your Risk
Below are groups identified as high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
• Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
• Pregnant women
• Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than six months
• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
• Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
Prevent the Spread of Infection
• Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
• Eat healthy and get plenty of rest.
• Avoid close contact with those who may be ill.
• Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance or is sweating or shivering.
• Talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu.
• Stay home if you have the flu or a flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don’t go to class or work.
• Pick a flu buddy — someone who can help you to get food, medicine and call family or your health care provider for you if you become ill.
• Emergency contact numbers — write out important numbers, including parents, friends, spouse, physician, pharmacy, etc. This way you don’t have to look them up when you need them and your flu buddy will have access to them also.
• Prepare a flu kit — the last thing you want to have to do when you are ill is to go to the store. In a bag or small box, collect items you would need if you become ill, such as:
o Tylenol (acetaminophen) for fever/body aches
o Advil (ibuprofen) for fever/body aches
o Anti-diarrheal medication
o Throat lozenges
o Hand sanitizer
o Boxed juices
o Protein bars
o Granola or nuts
o Saltine crackers
If you become ill, stay home and call your health care provider. Most symptoms resolve in 24 to 48 hours. If you develop symptoms of chest pain, chest pressure, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing call 911 and notify your health care provider immediately.
For additional information, contact Student Health Services at:
L.I. Campus: 631.687.1259
Brooklyn Campus: 718.940.5805