October to May is typically the peak time for the influenza virus, best known as seasonal “flu”. Here are a few recommendations to help protect yourself and the Emerson community:
The best protection is obtaining a flu shot! This is true for everyone, especially for those members of the community with a chronic medical condition or those that may be immunosuppressed or care for children under 6 months old, as they are unable to be immunized.
Flu shots are available for students at the Center for Health & Wellness on a walk-in basis during the Fall 2018 Immunization Clinic Schedule. Most major retail pharmacies also provide flu shots, and costs are covered by most insurance. Find local vaccination sites here.
Other measures to decrease transmission of the flu virus include:
- Hand washing and correct cough and sneeze etiquette
- Keeping well hydrated (water is best; caffeine and alcohol promote dehydration)
- Getting sleep – seven hours to recharge your immune system
- Staying out of class, work, athletic practice or competition if you are sick!
The CHW, in conjunction with Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), recommends that individuals with a temperature of 100 degrees F (37.7 degrees C) or greater and any of the symptoms consistent with an influenza-like illness (cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, vomiting and/or diarrhea) not attend or return to activities (class, work, athletic participation) until symptom-free for 24 hours following resolution of fever without fever-lowering medication, or a minimum of four (4) days from onset of illness, whichever is longer. This will minimize spreading flu to others. Additional resources on influenza in languages other than English here.
Most people who become ill with the flu can care for themselves without seeking medical care. For more information on flu symptoms, self-care, and when to seek medical care see the CDC recommendations.
The College has taken the following actions to minimize risk of a communicable disease outbreak on campus:
- The Center for Health & Wellness director receives weekly situational updates from the Boston Public Health BPHC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).
- The CHW screens all students who request appointments or medical advice for travel history, potential exposure to infected individuals, and temperature.
- Flu shots are available on campus while supplies last. Immunization clinic dates are listed on the eCampus calendar.
- Students seen at the CHW who have cough or fever are requested to wear masks while awaiting their appointment.
- The CHW staff uses antimicrobial wipes on all high-touch surfaces several times throughout the day to minimize viral transmission.
- Hard and soft services in classrooms and offices are treated once per week with the 360 electrostatic sprayer. This machine helps prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses.
- Higher-touch areas — the gym, common areas, elevators, etc. — are treated twice per week.
- The Fitness Center, bathrooms, hydration stations, and dining areas are disinfected nightly
- The number of hand sanitizer stations has been increased, particularly in common areas.
- HEPA vacuums are used for cleaning. This helps reduce airborne particulates.
We hope that you will do your part this flu season in helping to keep Emerson College a healthy community for all to learn, work and live.
Jane Powers, MSN, ANP
Director, Center for Health & Wellness
Assistant Vice President, Employee Engagement