Message from Dr. Charles Marty Regarding Influenza
Medical Director of Health Services
January 14, 2013
High levels of Influenza A & B have been declared widespread by the CDC in 47 US states. Denison Health Services has already seen and diagnosed many cases of Influenza over the last 7 days within our student community.
Flu symptoms manifest as a rather sudden onset of body aches, fever, painful cough or wheezing, runny nose, and exhaustion. These symptoms can be severe. However, most people can manage these symptoms by the proper use of over-the-counter medications as well as rest, increasing fluid intake, light meals, and other non-pharmacological strategies.
Denison Health Services is available to assess student’s symptoms and assist them in determining which strategies would be most helpful in controlling symptoms.
High Risk groups of people are more susceptible to serious complications of Influenza and as such should seek medical care immediately after symptoms appear. These high risk groups include anyone with the following medical conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Blood disorders
- Respiratory disease such as Asthma, Emphysema, and COPD
- Heart Disease
- Impaired Immune Disease disorders
- People over 65 years of age
Because flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, occur at a higher rate for those in the High Risk group of people, antiviral medications such as Tamiflu are strongly recommended and should be started within the first 48 hours after symptoms first start.
Individuals not at high risk generally recover well without antiviral medications but should be evaluated if symptoms are not improving as expected
According to the Ohio State Health Department there are sufficient supplies of vaccine still available around the state. Contact a local pharmacy to check about their availability of the vaccine.
Other important measures to take to reduce your chances of getting and spreading the flu and other infectious respiratory illnesses:
- Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue and not your hand.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use commercial hand sanitizers, especially after touching objects in public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth except to cover a sneeze or cough.
- Avoid anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness consistent with those described above and, if you develop these symptoms, stay away from others except to seek medical care.
- If you are ill with these symptoms, you should stay away from classes. Be sure to email your professors and to contact Health Services so that we can place you on the list of students who have been affected by this outbreak.
- If a staff member is ill with these symptoms, he/she should contact their medical provider for medical advice on controlling symptoms and a treatment plan and should stay home.
- Take good care of yourself. Try to get adequate rest, eat right, exercise as usual, and reduce stress when possible.
- As a student, if you develop any suspicious symptoms, contact the Health Services (740-587-6200) for further advice, especially if you have any chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.