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Student Health Center Shares Helpful Advice for Preventing Flu

Residence Hall courtyard

The peak of flu season is upon us, and Meredith’s Student Health Center wanted to share what the campus does to help members of the campus community avoid getting sick.

Experts say a flu shot is the best way to avoid the flu. This fall, the Student Health Center held three on campus flu vaccine clinics, vaccinating hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members.

Campus messaging regarding the spread of illnesses is a year long campaign. However, starting before the winter holidays, messages promoting good self-care increase. We promote these techniques through MCTV, flyers, email, and social media. We also hold demonstrations to showcase how germs can live on surfaces and spread. Facility Services maintains over 40 free standing hand sanitizer stations on campus. Some of these travel to campus events to remind the community to practice good hand hygiene. Some of our other messaging includes:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or sanitize your hands often with Purel or an alcohol-based product.
  • Wipe down shared work or household objects such as telephones, keyboards, computer mice, bathroom fixtures, door knobs, and television and stereo remote controls with Lysol or other disinfectant designed to kill viruses on surfaces.
  • Maintain a good sleep schedule. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Monitor your stress levels and life balance. Stress can weaken your immune system and leave you susceptible to disease.
  • Eat your vegetables. A well-nourished immune system is better able to fight off infections.
  • Exercise regularly. Every time you walk or run, you’re boosting your body’s immunity, the natural defense against viruses.
  • Minimize contact with individuals who are sick.

If these self-care techniques fall short and you develop flu symptoms:

  • Resident students should visit the Student Health Center or contact their local doctor. In some cases, the medication Tamiflu will make the illness easier and milder if prescribed in a timely manner.
  • We encourage all of our campus community to stay home, rest, and avoid contact with others. Working or attending school will just prolong your illness and possibly expose other people to the flu. Students are asked to self-isolate at home if possible. If traveling home is not an option, isolation rooms are available in a campus residence hall.

Meredith’s Incident Management Team, led by Dean of Students Ann Gleason, has created a plan to minimize the impact of the flu on campus and notify Meredith faculty of students who are missing classes because of a flu diagnosis. Meredith’s Carroll Student Health Center will notify the Dean of Students office of any students who are diagnosed with the influenza virus. The Office of the Dean of Students will email notification to students’ faculty to make them aware that the students’ absences are related to the flu and recovery.

The Student Health Center, Residence Life, and Dining Services encourages students to designate a Flu Buddy, who can come to Belk Dining Hall with the student’s Cam Card and pick up food for the student who has the flu. Dining menus are available at meredith.campusdish.com.

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) and 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.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu