How To Avoid The Swine Flu

An article from the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/health/15well.html?_r=1&nl=health&emc=healthupdateema1

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This went out in a campus-wide email…please read:

Dear UC Student:

The University of Cincinnati autumn quarter classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 23. As you prepare for the new academic year, you may have some concerns about the flu as you hear reports in the news and from other universities.

The University shares your concern and offers the following advice:

First, take good care of yourself. A healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation helps prevent flu infection. Exercise caution when greeting others with physical contact, i.e., handshakes, hugs, etc.

Second, do your part. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, particularly before eating or after sneezing. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Do not use other person's phone, computer, or other similar items without cleaning them first. Clean exercise equipment before and after each use.

Third, if you are sick, stay home. Stay home, get plenty of rest, and check with a health care provider as needed. Do not go to classes, public events, or areas. Call ahead before going to a doctor's office. Keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.

How can you tell if you have the flu? Common symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. H1N1 is a specific strain of the flu which is extremely contagious. The flu (influenza) is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu and colds usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can live for a long time (some can live for 2 hours or more) on surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and tables.

The University is following the Center for Disease Control's recommendation that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F [37.8 degrees C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. In addition the University Provost has established guidelines for faculty, which include modifying attendance policies to eliminate any reason for you to attend class when you experience flu symptoms. Faculty members are also instructed to avoid penalizing you for failure to produce a doctor's excuse, since in mild cases of the flu, people are being asked NOT to see their doctors. Communication is critical and if you have to miss a class you should let your professor know your status and seek guidance on making up work.

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