Action Steps to Prevent the Spread of the Flu Advice for the Washington and Lee Community

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Make sure that shared surfaces that have frequent hand contact (like keyboards, desks, door knobs, faucets, etc.) are cleaned before you touch them. Consider carrying your own supply of hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as this spreads germs from surfaces you may have touched. Do not share cups, food/drink, or eating utensils.
  2. Cover your cough - cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue immediately in a trash can and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
  3. Avoid contact with others who are sick - try to stay at least 3 feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing, or 6 feet away from someone who is known to have influenza to avoid airborne spread of the virus. This virus is also commonly spread by touching contaminated surfaces. Commonly used shared surfaces (such as door knobs, key boards, desks, faucet handles, counters, etc.) should be cleaned frequently with disposable disinfecting wipes prior to each use.
  4. Get vaccinated against influenza NOW. Everyone age 6 months or older should get vaccinated for seasonal flu each fall. It's not too late even if the flu season has started, or you have already had one strain of flu. The vaccine will protect against multiple strains of flu that may circulate at different times during the flu season.
  5. Stay home if you are sick with flu-like symptoms, until at least 24 hours after fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications. This can prevent others from getting sick, too. Ask a "flu buddy" to check on you and bring you food and supplies as needed. This will limit the number of people you might expose to the flu while you are sick. See your healthcare provider early in the illness to consider anti-viral medication to treat the flu.

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