The Sleasman Student Health Center is currently not seeing any identified cases of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI). However, there have been a number of identified cases of gastrointestinal illness amongst our students, employees and surrounding community. Our medical staff continues to monitor the incidence and prevalence of ILI amongst our NU populace with participation in the American College of Health weekly ILI Surveillance Program.
The H1N1 Influenza Pandemic is not over. The Centers of Disease Control anticipates the arrival of the third wave of illness later this winter. Niagara University is well-prepared to manage this next wave, but it is imperative that our students, employees and faculty members take appropriate measures to keep themselves healthy and safe.
The following recommendations are being offered to assist you
- Get vaccinated against the H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza. Health services currently has an ample supply of the H1N1 vaccine available.
- Cover your cough. Cough into your sleeve and not your hands. Discard used tissues, and wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands; germs are spread this way.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least a 60% alcohol base are also effective.
- Utilize the automatic "no touch” hand sanitizer dispensers found on campus in high traffic areas such as the student center, computer labs, library and Kiernan Center.
- Wipe down high touch areas frequently with Clorox or Lysol wipes daily and as needed.
- Stay away from people you know are ill. Keeping a three to six foot distance is helpful in preventing the spread of droplets that cause illness.
- Keep your immune system healthy. Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Keeping a daily schedule for work, eating, exercise and relaxation will help you avoid illness.
- Empower yourself by knowing the signs and symptoms of ILI, so you can identify illness early and stay home preventing the spread of illness to others.
- Stay home and self-isolate when ill. Report your absence due to ILI through our campus wide surveillance system, Absent4Flu available through your myNU.
- Self care recommendations are available at http://www.niagara.edu/health-education/
- You may return to classes when you are fever free for 24hours without the use of fever reducing medication and your symptoms improve.
Respiratory infections are most prevalent during this time of the year and most are NOT due to influenza but are caused by viruses. The following will help to distinguish between them:
Influenza/B - Sudden onset of fevers, chills, sweats, malaise (extreme fatigue), body aches, headache, cough and sore throat. Most of these symptoms start in the first 24 hours. Nasal congestion may follow in the next few days. Less common are nausea and diarrhea.
Common Cold - Nasal congestion/runny nose, scratchy-irritated throat, low-grade fever with the onset of a cough in 2-3 days.
Gastrointestinal Illness - Often incorrectly referred to as the stomach flu, can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins or allergies. Symptoms of GI illness are typically nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Flu refers to influenza, which is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms of the flu are typically fever, cough, respiratory congestion and sore throat.
What to do if you are sick
- Report your illness via Absent4Flu. A letter will automatically be generated to your professors to notify them of your reported illness. It is a student’s responsibility to contact professors directly to arrange work missed. Health Services will not provide students with a note for any classes missed due to ILI.
- We continue to encourage ill students to recover at home, with the support of loved ones. If this is not possible, and you live in a residence hall, you must contact health services for further instructions and meal delivery.
- All students self-isolated in the dorms will be required to wear a mask while utilizing common spaces such as the bathroom and showers.
- Rest and drink plenty of non-carbonated fluids such as water or Gatorade. Take over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms (Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever/pain, cough suppressants, pseudoephedrine for congestion etc.). Over –the-counter medications are available at the Self Care Center at NU Health Services.
Seek immediate medical care should you develop any of the following symptoms
- Change in your symptoms or return of fever once it is gone.
- You have severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, intractable nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, uncontrolled fever, dizziness with movement, bluish colored skin around your lips or fingertips.
- You have questions about your illness or are just "unsure."
- Call campus safety directly at 716-286-8111 for immediate medical attention.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact Health Services at 716-286-8390 should you have any questions and concerns.