Confirmed Cases of Influenza A
As of today, February 19th, the Licking County Health Department Dashboard reflects a total of 1349 case of influenza within Licking County.
We are writing today to notify campus that we have 2 confirmed cases of Influenza A, which were diagnosed within the last two days. Our concern is that additional cases of Influenza, within our campus community, could be on the horizon.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The virus is contagious and spreads through the air from person-to-person. Persons with the flu typically have an abrupt (rapid) onset, within a few hours, of all or some of the following symptoms:
- High fever
- Painful cough
- Generalized body aches
- Respiratory inflammation or wheezing
- Nasal congestion
- Sore Throat
Remember these symptoms come on rapidly, NOT gradually.
If students are ill with flu or flu-like symptoms, they should not attend class, dining halls or other public spaces. If a staff member is ill with the flu or flu-like symptoms they should stay home. The general rule is you must be free of fever, without taking fever reducer, for 24 hours prior to returning to school or work.
The average duration of the flu is one week, but some symptoms may linger for up to a month. For people that are classified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as High Risk it is particularly important that you seek medical care immediately after symptoms appears. This high risk group includes anyone with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disorder blood disorders, respiratory disease, impaired immune systems, or people over 65.
Students and staff should seek medical care if symptoms suspicious of Influenza develop. Flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, can occur. This is especially true for persons with chronic disease (high risk group). Because of the risk of complications, antiviral medications are used with high-risk populations but the medicine should be started within the first 48 hours after symptoms develop.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, as listed above, contact the Whisler Center for Student Wellness at 740-587- 6200 for further advice.
The following are preventative strategies to help minimize your risk of getting the flu.
- Get the flu vaccination. The flu vaccination this season is effective 10-30% of the time, however the CDC still recommends receiving the flu vaccination this season.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use commercial hand sanitizer, especially after touching objects in public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- When coughing or sneezing, cough into the bend of your elbow or a Kleenex, rather than directly into your hand.
- Take good care of yourself - i.e. adequate sleep, consume a nutritious diet, and drink plenty of water.