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Feb 07

The FLU BLUES

New Jersey along with the rest of the country is experiencing the worst flu season since 2008-2009. If you haven’t received your flu vaccine, its not too late. Although the efficacy of this years flu vaccine remains around 20% or less, the vaccine may either prevent you from getting the flu or lessen the duration and symptoms if you get the flu.

The flu is caused by viruses that infect your nose, mouth, and throat. It is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, and just plain talking. You can also get the flu by touching a virus contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Anyone can get the flu but some individuals are at a higher risk of developing serious complications. They are children under the age of 5, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or a weakening immune system.

Individuals can spread the flu up to 24 hours before they feel sick and for about  1 week after symptoms begin.

Actions to FIGHT the FLU!

  • Get a yearly flu vaccine. Health Services has a limited supply of the flu vaccine left. Cost is free to students on a 1st come 1st serve basis.
  • Practice healthy habits. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze- use a tissue or your sleeve. Wash hands with soap and water often. Avoid sick people. Clean/disinfect¬† commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs, desk tops, tables, etc. Stay home if you are sick!
  • Take prescribed antiviral medications if your doctor prescribes them for you, within 24 hours of getting sick. This may lessen the duration and/or severity of the flu.

 

If you become sick with the flu, what should you do?

  • If you area a campus resident, immediately visit Health Services
  • If you are a commuter student, stay at home until you are fever free without taking a fever reducing medication such as Tylenol or Advil for 24 hours.
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Call your doctor and ask if an antiviral medication is necessary

 Remember PREVENTION is the best Medicine!

Interestingly, its the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic that caused 55 million deaths worldwide.

In 1918, there was no flu vaccine!

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