Furious Flu: What To Consider As You Come Back To Campus

January 10th, 2013

The City of Boston has been placed under a public health advisory because of a flu outbreak, and several other cities across the United States are experiencing much of the same. How can you prevent catching the flu as you return to campus this week and next?
Here are some tips from Boston University Student Health Services and Dean Elmore:

Watch this video on YouTube

  • It is not too late to get a flu shot!  Student Health has a limited supply of vaccine at SHS for students. (Faculty and staff who may be reading this: you can get yours at the Occupational Health Center at 930 Commonwealth Avenue.)
  • Wash your hands frequently. If you can’t get to a restroom, use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus.
  • Avoid those who are ill, if possible. (Aka, no Pretty Little Liars watch parties with a feverish friend. Sorry.)
  • Clean high touch surfaces in your room and/or office with anti-bacterial cleaner. For the domestically challenged, Clorox or other disinfecting/antibacterial wipes are easy to use and available at stores up and down Commonwealth Avenue.
  • Need to cough or sneeze? Do so into your sleeve or a tissue and not directly into your hands. Wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Avoid touching your face both when you are ill and when healthy – this spreads germs!

What to do if you do catch the flu or any other annoying virus/cold/sinus infection that is traveling faster than a Twitter search for “Justin Timberlake?”

  • If you are sick, stay home and in bed. Avoid crowded places like dining halls, restaurants and FitRec if possible (the treadmill can wait a day.)
  • Find a “Flu Buddy” (a friend who won’t mind helping you out while you’re sick) to help care for you and help bringing food to you from the dining hall. (Tell them you’ll treat them to Pinkberry when they get better.)
  • Take fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) if you have a fever. If your fever persists for more than 3 days in spite of fever reducers, please seek medical care.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and contact SHS if you are persistently unable to keep fluids down because of vomiting.
  • Students should feel free to call SHS at 617-353-3575 for medical advice if you are unsure of what to do after reading this information.

Keep your eye on this page, as well as other University resources, to find out what BU is doing to keep students as healthy as possible as flu season takes hold. For now, be cautious, be mindful and for goodness sakes, don’t cough on anyone.

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