Know what the Flu is and how to prevent it

By , November 18, 2014 11:15 am

SHWWhat Is the Flu?

Influenza, commonly known as the “Flu”, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by Influenza A or B Viruses.  Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring.  The Flu Virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.

How Is Flu Spread?

The Flu Virus is spread from person to person through respiratory secretions and typically sweeps through groups of people who spend time in close contact with each other, such as in classrooms, college dorms, and offices.  The Flu is spread when you inhale droplets in the air that contain the Flu Virus, make direct contact with respiratory secretions through sharing drinks or utensils, or handle items contaminated by an infected person.  The Flu Virus on your skin can infect you when you touch or rub your eyes, nose, or mouth.  That’s why frequent and thorough hand washing is a key way to limit the spread of Influenza.  Flu symptoms start to develop from one to four days after infection with the virus.

Common Symptoms of Seasonal Flu

  • Temperature >100.4 F
  • Body Aches
  • Dry Cough
  • Headache
  • Body Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Possible Diarrhea or Vomiting

What to Do If You Think You Have the Flu

  • GO TO BED!
  • Call UMKC Student Health and Wellness, or another healthcare provider.
  • Stay away from people (self-isolate) until you are 24 hours fever-free (without fever-reducing medication), or 7 days after onset, whichever is shorter.
  • Call a friend to bring you food or medicine as needed.
  • Treat any fever, pain, or headaches with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  Ibuprofen 200 to 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed (up to 1200 mg/day), or Acetaminophen 325 to 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed (up to 3000 mg/day).
  • Drink 8 to 16 oz. of water, juice, broth, etc., each hour while you’re awake.
  • Take your temperature every few hours to monitor your fever.

I Don’t Have the Flu, But What Can I Do To Prevent It?

  • Stay away from sick people!!!
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Get the yearly Flu Vaccine to decrease your chances of getting the seasonal flu.
  • Protect your immune system by…
  • eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • getting plenty of sleep (7-10 hours per night).
  • not smoking!!  It weakens your lungs against infections.
  • not drinking alcohol!!

Contact UMKC Student Health & Wellness at (816) 235-6133

or check out for more information!

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