Students returning to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh this week for the 2019 spring semester will find campus peppered with posters reminding them how to cope with the cold and flu season.
While there have been fewer reported cases of influenza this year than last both locally and throughout the nation, vigilance with hand-washing and other preventive measures remains necessary as hundreds of students return to campus, said Juliana Kahrs, UWO assistant director of health promotion.
“Living in close proximity in residence halls, eating together in dining halls and using shared bathrooms can impact the spread of colds and flu,” she said. “It’s important to properly wash and dry hands and clean and disinfect items that are touched frequently using a bleach-based cleaning product.”
Viruses can be transmitted one to two days before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick.
Kahrs also reminds students, faculty and staff that it is not too late in the season to get the flu vaccine, which not only can reduce the severity of the flu if contracted but also can help to protect vulnerable population like children, pregnant women, the chronically ill and the elderly.
In her own efforts to stay healthy, Kahrs exercises regularly, eats nutritious foods and drinks at least eight glasses of water each day.
Additional prevention measures include:
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Clean surfaces and regularly touched items (cell phones, desks, door knobs and key boards).
- Cover nose and mouth when you cough.
- Stay home (except to seek medical care) if you have flu-like symptoms.
- Limit contact with sick individuals.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice other good health habits, such as getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition and regular exercise.