Cold and flu season is here. Stay healthy and keep creating your best work by following tips.
Tips to Staying Healthy
Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before eating. Hand sanitizer stations are located in all dining facilities, as well as many other locations across campus.
Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, and try your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Vitamins and herbal supplements such as those containing vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea can be helpful in boosting your immune system.
Protect yourself from the flu with the influenza vaccine.
Vaccine clinics are being held on campus but you can also get your vaccine sooner at most local pharmacies, including CVS at the Providence Place Mall. Flu vaccines are covered by all health insurance companies, including United Health Student Resources.
Cold and Flu Differences
The common cold and the flu can look very similar. Both are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics, however antiviral medications are often given in cases of confirmed flu.
In the case of the common cold, symptoms can come on gradually and are often milder. Most cold viruses take 7-10 days to resolve on their own.
- You do not need to see a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of the common cold (stuffy/runny nose, scratchy/sore throat, mild cough and general fatigue).
- Drink plenty of fluids and get as much rest as possible.
- You can still go to class, but you should be careful to wash your hands and cover your cough, so as not to spread the cold virus.
If you have a fever greater than 100.4F (38C) and body muscle aches, you may have the flu. Please call health services to determine if you need to be seen for an appointment.
- Because the flu can have severe complications for some individuals (generally those with weakened immune systems), we often give antiviral medications (Tamiflu) and recommend isolation for those with the flu.
- If you have confirmed flu (by a lab test), please avoid contact with others on campus to prevent the spread of disease. If you must leave your dorm room, please wear a mask and minimize the amount of time out of your room.
- Once you have been fever-free for 24 hours (without taking Tylenol or ibuprofen), you may return to class.