Flu: What You Can Do
(Informational booklet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health)
The Flu: Information and Prevention Tips
(From Mount Ida College Health Services)
Our first step in preparedness has been to advise community members (through emails and flyers) about strategies for prevention as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These strategies include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or hand sanitizers.
- Cover your nose/mouth with a tissue, sleeve or elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues.
- After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Regularly clean shared phone receivers, keyboards, remote controls, office equipment and door knobs.
- Get plenty of sleep and avoid smoking.
- Finally, if you think you are ill with the symptoms of influenza, avoid close contact with others as much as possible, and seek medical care. Students should contact the Health Services at 617-928-4599 between 9 am and 4 pm M-F. After hours and on weekends, students may contact Public Safety at 617-928-4777 for assistance. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider. In accordance with CDC guidelines, those infected should self-isolate until 24 hours after they are fever-free without the use of medication. The recovery time is generally 2-4 days.
Housekeeping services has added additional hand sanitizer stations throughout campus and has stocked new supplies on site in preparation for any outbreaks. In addition, the regular daily housekeeping schedule focuses on touch points such as door handles and light switches.
Procedures for Ill Students
If you feel ill with the symptoms of influenza, avoid close contact with others as much as possible, and seek medical care. Students should contact the Health Services at 617-928-4599 between 9 am and 4 pm M-F. After hours and on weekends, students may contact Public Safety at 617-928-4777 for assistance.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, those infected should self-isolate until 24 hours after they are fever-free without the use of medication. The recovery time is generally 2-4 days. Students ill with flu who live within a 400 mile driving radius will be expected to return home for care during the contagious period of their illness. Residence Life staff will work with Health Services.
Students who are ill should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or tissue when coughing or sneezing, when in public areas such as bathrooms, and when a caregiver is present. They should get plenty of rest, drink clear liquids, avoid using aspirin (Tylenol or ibuprofen is recommended), and contact their health care provider or the health center if at higher risk for flu complications (pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease).
Absentee and closure policies and communication
Absentee and closure policies and communication
The Vice President for Academic Affairs has informed faculty that sick students should follow the CDC guidelines and remain out of class until the virus has subsided. Students should contact faculty to inform them of their illness. Alternate arrangements for completing class work as well as exceptions to absenteeism policies should be discussed first with the individual faculty member. Should the number of flu cases on campus warrant suspension of activities or even suspension of classes, the College will update the community via email and the emergency notification system.
What parents and families can do to help
Most importantly, you can make sure your student seeks medical advice/attention if s/he has flu symptoms. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. Residence Life and Public Safety staff are able to assist students who fall ill during times the Health Center is closed. Residence Life staff has digital thermometers to give to students who need to check their temperature.
Should your student need to be isolated because of flu symptoms, please have a plan ready to pick them up at the college and care for them at home. If a family member at home is at-risk for complications from exposure to flu, you may want to make alternate arrangements for care for your student at the home of a relative or friend. If your home is too far away, we will work with your student to help them take self-isolation measures on campus.
Please encourage your student to take preventive measures to avoid catching the virus by getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of non-alcoholic fluids, keeping their room clean and washing hands frequently.
If your student is at higher risk for flu complications because of underlying conditions, please feel free to contact Health Services at 617-928-4599 to discuss concerns. If the virus becomes widespread on campus, your student may want to consider limiting his/her interactions with others, keeping a six foot distance from others, or even returning home temporarily.
In summary, Mount Ida College is prepared to face the coming flu season. We do need the assistance of all on campus (and at home) to assist in these preparations by taking preventive measures, by seeking medical advice when needed, and by self-isolating for the recommended period to reduce the spread of the virus. We are hopeful that these steps will help to keep this virus as a mild and manageable outbreak. Please contact either the Health Services Office at 617-928-4599 or the Office of Student Affairs at 617-928-4612 or email@example.com if you have specific questions which were not answered by this memo. http://www.mountida.edu/sp.cfm?pageid=3045.