This influenza ("flu") season is turning out to be one of the more severe in several years, currently affecting the majority of states, including Minnesota. To better take care of yourself and the UMD community during this season, we offer the following information regarding preventing the flu and caring for yourself should you get the flu. If you need help distinguishing between a cold and the flu, check this page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Cold versus Flu.
Best measures for preventing the flu:
Get your flu shot. It's not too late, check with your primary care clinic or your pharmacy.
Avoid being around others who are sick.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use your sleeve (not your hands), if a tissue isn't available.
Wash your hands frequently (soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs).
Clean commonly touched surfaces often.
What to do if you think you have the flu?
Stay home when you're sick (per the CDC, at least 24 hours after your fever is gone). Check out this informative (and entertaining) video about the flu, and how long you are contagious.
Restrict contact with other people, unless you need to seek medical care.
Avoid contact with others.
Rest and drink a lot of fluids.
If you have certain medical conditions (for example, diabetes, asthma or other respiratory illnesses and heart disease), you may be at higher risk for complications from the flu, and you should call your health care provider for advice. Check the CDC website for more information on people at high-risk.
Who to contact with questions?
If you have questions, please call your primary care provider's office or their nurse-line, or call UMD Health Services at 218-726-8155 between 8:00am and 4:00pm MTWF, and 9:00am-4:00pm on Thursdays.
Another great resource for flu questions is the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Currently you can call them at (651) 201.5414 during their office hours 8:00am to 4:30pm. If flu levels rise to a very high level, they may open their toll-free MN FluLine that is available 7 days a week / 24 hours a day.