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Colds, the Flu, and Other Health Concerns

Cold and Flu season is once again upon us.  The following is some information to help keep you healthy through the winter.  Information is also included regarding other health concerns in the news.

INFLUENZA (FLU)

  • 1/4-1/2 million people die world-wide from Influenza per year
  • 3,000-49,000 people die in the US from Influenza per year
  • Last year (2013-14), 108 children died in the US from Influenza
  • 14 Adults died last year in New Hampshire alone last year from Influenza

Signs/Symptoms of the Flu

Sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, fatigue lasting up to 3 weeks, chest discomfort, sore throat, nasal congestion, dry cough

Prevent the Flu

  • Handwashing:  This is the best and easiest way to prevent the Flu.  Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing, before and after eating, after you shake hands, before you enter a building and as you leave a building.  Use soap and water when available and hand sanitizer when not.   Please encourage others around you to wash their hands. 
  • Proper Cough Etiquette:  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and properly dispose of the tissue.  If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid Sharing: Do not share utensils, drinks, cell phones, computers or personal care items.
  • Disinfect:  Wash all telephones, mouse pads, keyboards, pens, pencils and door knobs with disinfectant wipes, ie. Lysol or Clorox.
  • Social Distancing:  If you are sick, stay home.  Health Services is encouraging students with Flu-like symptoms to return home, if able.  Otherwise, self-isolate until your temperature is below 100 F for 24 hours.  It is important not to expose other community members, especially those with high-risk chronic illnesses.  Thermometers and masks are available at Health Services.
  • Get the Flu Shot:  Flu shots are still available at Health Services.  We also offer vouchers for free flu shots at Convenient MD.  This is the perfect time to get your flu shot.

EBOLA

The world is facing the biggest and most complex Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in history.  On August 8, 2014, the EVD outbreak in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because it was determined to be an ‘extraordinary event’ with public health risks to other States.  The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious considering the following factors:

  1. The virulence of the virus,
  2. The intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and
  3. The strained health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.

Travel to West Africa presents substantial risks. We strongly discourage travel to that area. If you do travel to that area, please report this information to Health Services.

Health links for more information

The FLU:   

www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/everyday_preventive.pdf

Ebola: 

www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/ebola/index.htm

Enterovius D68:  

www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/downloads/EV68-factsheet.pdf
www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/enterovirus-d68.htm

Travel Health Notices: 

wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

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