The season for influenza and other viral illnesses is upon us. Other Universities in the area are reporting a variety of viral illnesses. At UMBC University Health Services (UHS) we have not seen any patterns of illness beyond typical colds. Given what other campuses are seeing, University Health Services, Residential Life, Facilities Management, the RAC and Chartwells and ABM are working together to increase cleaning of high touch surfaces and restrooms around campus.
This is an important time for us all to take some simple actions to protect ourselves and minimize the impact of the flu and other viral illness on our community.
- Get a flu shot, it is not too late! UHS gave out 500 flu shots this season and while we do not have any more shots, they are available throughout the community.
- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizing stations located around campus.
- Avoid those who are ill, if you can.
- Clean surfaces that you or others touch frequently in your room and/or office with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are effective).
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve--not your hands--and wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face, whether you are ill or healthy; it spreads germs.
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water bottles.
- If you are sick, stay home and in bed. Avoid crowded places like dining halls, classrooms, restaurants, and the RAC or other fitness centers to prevent spreading illness to others. If you are sick, ask a friend to care for you.
- Take fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) if you do have a fever. If your fever persists for more than three days in spite of taking these medications, please seek medical care.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- If you have been diagnosed with the flu and develop shortness of breath and severe fatigue, call your health care provider or go to an emergency room.
Bruce Herman, Director, University Health Services and Counseling Center