We’re in the middle of flu season and BC wants to make sure you have a healthy, and successful Winter Quarter. Here are recommendations to educate and reinforce the principles of illness prevention.
The flu is a respiratory infection and is not the same as the ‘stomach flu’, which is generally a misnomer and actually refers to stomach viruses such as Norovirus. People with colds only have a runny or stuffy nose and little chance of serious health problems. Flu can lead to serious health complications such as pneumonia, sinus infection, or myocarditis.
Recognize the Symptoms:
Fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Occasionally, people have nausea or vomiting.
Protect Yourself and Help Prevent the Spread of the Flu:
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 15-20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to clean hands as often as possible; sanitize hands when entering or leaving classrooms or offices if possible.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or arm, be sure to throw away used tissues immediately.
- Stay home if you have flu symptoms.
- For faculty: It is important that everyone examine their course attendance and grading practices/policies to make sure that they are not in contradiction with the BC strategies for limiting the spread of flu virus. Students who become ill will need to miss class, and advance preparations and arrangements will make it possible for learning to continue without compromising the academic integrity of your classes.
- Get a flu shot. Nearly everyone 6 months old and older should get a flu vaccine at least every season.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose to avoid the spread of disease.
- Seek medical attention if you or another person has breathing difficulties, blue skin color, dehydration, severe or continuous vomiting, confusion, or a return of symptoms with a fever and worsened cough.
- Educate others about the preventative practices discussed above, or refer them to educational posters.
Currently, BC’s “Team Flu” is working to implement the following measures:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms and common areas.
- Respiratory masks (dispensers or handed out by instructors) for those who have symptoms, or others who are at risk for complications or simply do not want to risk illness.
- Reminder signs to use sanitizer/masks in classrooms.
- Hand-washing reminder signs and instructions in restrooms.
- Preventative measures signs in common areas.
- Long-term plans for ongoing flu vaccination or educational campaigns.
- CDC Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season
- Washington State Dept. of Health Flu News/Resources
- Current Washington State Influenza Update (pdf)
- CDC Everything You need to Know About Flu
- CDC Flu Prevention Video: Prevent Flu! Get a Flu Vaccine and Take Preventive Actions
- CDC Flu Prevention Video: Don’t Get, Don’t Spread: Seasonal Flu
Thank you and stay healthy!
Team Flu/Bellevue College
Last Updated January 30, 2018