With CDC predictions that the current flu is on the rise in the nation and in North Carolina, Meredith College has taken precautions to help limit the flu impact on campus.
Experts say getting a flu shot is the best way to avoid getting the flu. Beginning in the fall semester, Meredith College held four flu vaccine clinics, vaccinating a total of 452 students, faculty, staff and their family members. The Health Center sponsored the clinics.
In addition to getting a flu shot, Health Services Director Sherri Henderson suggests the following ways to avoid the flu.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. (Sing the ABC song or the Happy Birthday song twice!)
• Wipe down shared work or household objects such as telephones, keyboards, computer mice, and TV and stereo remote controls with Lysol.
• Avoid people who are coughing.
• Get some fresh air when possible.
If you are sick:
• If you are sick with the flu, stay home in bed, rest and avoid contact with others. Working or attending school will just get other people infected and prolong your illness.
• Call your doctor if you have had a flu shot (or not), but get sick anyway. Additional medications will make the illness easier and milder.
Meredith’s Incident Management Team, led by Dean of Students Ann Gleason, has put together a plan to minimize the impact of the flu on campus. Meredith’s Carroll Health Center will notify the Dean of Students office of any students who are diagnosed with an influenza-like virus. These students will be asked to self-isolate at home if possible. Students who cannot return home will be provided with an isolation room on campus.
Guidelines for students with the flu include isolating until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (Tylenol or Motrin), staying in daily communication with professors and the Dean of Students so the College knows how they are doing and when they expect to return. Students are also asked to be evaluated at the Health Center before returning to class.
Campus Dining has instituted a Flu Buddy program for students. If it is advisable that the student not come to Belk Dining Hall because of illness, the student can designate a Flu Buddy. A Flu Buddy is someone who does not show flu symptoms who can pick up food from the dining hall for the student who is ill. The Flu Buddy should come to Belk Dining Hall with the student’s Cam Card, reusable to go container and reusable mug. Dining Hall menus can be viewed at meredith.campusdish.com.
For more information on Meredith College’s flu season preventive measures, contact Sherri Henderson, director of health services, at ext. 8535. For more, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.