Living in a Residence Hall in close proximity with roommates and housemates will be difficult if you or they have the flu. Here are some tips to help you get through the flu:
- Remember the basics of flu prevention: stay home when sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water when possible, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow, shoulder or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- "Social Distancing" can help prevent the spread of flu. Social distancing is about staying away from crowds and maintaining a six foot space away from others when you have to interact with them. Not easy, but it may help prevent you or others from getting sick.
- Those with flu-like illness should stay away from classes and limit interactions with other people (called “self-isolation”) as much as possible, except to seek medical care, if needed, for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (a fever is defined as having a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater) or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Some people with influenza will not have fever; therefore, absence of fever does not mean absence of infection. They should stay away from others during this time period even if they are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu.
- If your roommate, or someone with whom you are in close contact has influenza, please try to minimize direct, face-to-face contact with the ill individual and request that the ill individual wear a mask around you. Wash your hands frequently with hand sanitizer or warm water and soap. Get plenty of sleep and maintain healthy eating habits to help your immune system. You may want to consider temporarily relocating to your family`s home if this option is available to you.
- If close contact with others cannot be avoided, and you are ill, you should wear a surgical mask during the period of contact. Examples of close contact include being cared for by a "flu buddy" or family member, or having any other contact between persons likely to result in exposure to respiratory droplets. Kissing and sharing eating or drinking utensils should be avoided.
- If possible, residence hall students with flu-like illness with family or a non-student friend living close to campus should consider returning to their family to keep from spreading illness University-wide. Try to do so in a way that limits contact with all others as much as possible.