California Flu News- January 2018
As is being reported in the news this week, flu activity is increasing in California to higher than average levels, currently predominantly H3N2 influenza A which can cause more intense symptoms.
Taking steps to avoid catching or spreading the flu can help reduce time lost from work and school in addition to reducing the risk for those especially vulnerable to complications from the flu. Good self-care if you are sick with influenza may shorten your recovery time and lessen the chance of complications.
Strategies to prevent or reduce the spread of influenza
To reduce your chance of getting the flu, get vaccinated, practice good hand hygiene, get adequate rest, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. If you're sick or fighting off the flu, practice good hand hygiene and cover your cough to reduce spreading the flu.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that people with the flu avoid returning to work or school until their fever has resolved for 24 hours (off medication).
If you are sick with flu symptoms or a fever, contact your instructors or supervisors to make arrangements to stay home until you no longer contagious.
Signs of flu can include high fever and chills, rapid onset of cough/sore throat, tiredness, headaches, and body aches, with the illness often lasting over a week.
If you are generally healthy, treatment for the flu consists of rest, good nutrition and hydration, and use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen when needed for symptoms*. For more on taking care of yourself if you get the flu click here.
If you have underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung/heart problems, or another chronic condition, make sure that you get the flu vaccine and seek medical care early if you get the flu, as antiviral medication may be prescribed.
*You need to seek medical care for the flu if you develop problems such as impaired breathing, fever not improving with medication, problems walking, eating, or drinking, confusion, or other severe symptoms.
A limited amount of flu vaccine is still available at the Student Health Center as of 1/9/18. This year's flu vaccine is thought to be a less than average match for the H3N2 virus currently circulating but still may offer partial protection in preventing H3N2 infection or may help to lessen the severity of the infection.
For more information on the flu visit the CDC website by clicking here.