Flu/Cold Prevention & Care

The flu vaccine is available at the CSU Health Network Immunization Clinic.

Hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. No appointment is needed.

For further information about the flu, call 970-491-7121.

Before You're Sick: Prevention and Care

Before You’re Sick: Prevention and Care

  • Get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control recommends a yearly influenza shot for everyone six months of age and older. For CSU flu vaccination information, call the CSU Health Network at 970-491-6528.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.
    Wash your hands with warm, soapy water, rubbing your hands together for at least 15 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand gels are also effective, unless hands are visibly soiled or grossly contaminated.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    Germs can easily spread this way.
  • Perform routine cleaning.
    Disinfect items and surfaces likely to have frequent hand contact like door knobs, phones, keyboards, counters, desks, remote controls and refrigerator handles.
  • Engage in immune boosting strategies:
    • Sleep – 7 to 8 hours of sleep is optimal.
    • Practice stress management
    • Engage in physical activity
    • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu.
    In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, headache, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. A significant number of people who have been infected with the influenza virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.  Special tests to tell if a person has the flu and medication to lessen symptoms must be done within the first few days of illness. (The flu vaccine is still the best way to prevent influenza.)

Colds are usually milder than the flu, and people with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose, often accompanied by sneezing. Sore throats can be common. Colds generally do not lead to more serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations, but the flu can.

For more information:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/colds.html

If Illness Strikes: Home Flu and Cold Care

If Illness Strikes: Home Flu and Cold Care

  • Drink Clear Fluids – Water, juice, soup broths, and herbal teas are suggested to stay hydrated.
  • Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen – Take to reduce fever and relieve body aches; use as directed. (Do not take aspirin, as it has been associated with a rare but fatal disease called Reyes Syndrome when taken for flu symptoms.)
  • Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Use – Smoking may increase your symptoms, especially cough, or make you more prone to develop bronchitis and pneumonia. Alcohol dehydrates the body.
  • Sleep – Get enough sleep to feel completely rested and allow your body to heal.
  • Sooth Sore Throat – Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Decongest – Use saline nasal spray or sinus rinses to clear nasal passages.
  • Inhale – Breathe the steam from hot beverages, and take deep breaths when in the shower.
  • Humidifier – Use a humidifier at night.
  • Anti-viral Medication – Antibiotics won’t work for viral infections, such as colds and the flu. Antiviral medication may help for specific strains of the flu virus, but only when given within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Ask your doctor if this therapy might benefit you.

Remember…

Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don’t go to class or work; socially distance yourself from others. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies, if needed.

Special populations should check in with their health care provider. Serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people age 65 and older; children under five; pregnant women and individuals with chronic health disorders such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and morbid obesity or compromised immune systems.

Wear a facemask if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others. This is especially important if other household members are at high risk for complications from the flu.

Practice respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.

Be watchful for emergency warning signs (see below) that might indicate the need to seek medical attention for the seasonal flu.

For more information: What to do if you get sick and Caring for someone with the flu

When to Seek Medical Attention

When to Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention for the flu if you have:

  • Chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, morbid obesity, an autoimmune diseases or are pregnant
  • Fever of 101.0 F for more than 3 days
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Drainage from the eyes
  • Pain in your ears
  • Worsening symptoms after 5-7 days

Seek EMERGENCY medical attention if you have:

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing other than nasal congestion
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Inability to keep liquids down