Influenza – Health Alert
Due to a rising number of influenza (flu) cases in Boston and reports predicting a particularly potent flu season this year, Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a public health emergency on January 9th. Since October 1, 2012, there have already been 700 reported cases of flu in Boston - 10 times more cases than last year during this time period. Public health officials are encouraging all to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions against the illness.
With the return of students to Emmanuel's campus this weekend for the start of the 2013 spring semester, please know that the College's administration and staff have taken immediate action to prevent the spread of the virus. Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout campus and Emmanuel's Student Health Center has flu vaccines available to any member of the Emmanuel community who wishes to receive one.
If you are a resident student currently experiencing symptoms, please consider not returning to campus until you are fever free for 24 hours. Students who have returned to campus and are experiencing symptoms should call Health Services at 617-264-7678; area hospitals have asked students to utilize on-campus health services and for all those feeling ill to first contact their primary care physicians rather than seek emergency room care. After hours, resident students should contact their RA for assistance. For the safety of the Emmanuel community, please do not visit Health Services in person. Symptoms can usually be assessed and managed over the phone, preventing further spread of the illness.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- fever (usually high)
- runny or stuffy nose
- extreme tiredness
- dry cough
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults
People at high risk for complications from the flu, include:
- Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
Taking care of yourself when you have the flu:
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Avoid using alcohol and tobacco
- Use acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) to relieve symptoms (Note: avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol) if you are taking Dayquil, Nyquil or other cold combination remedies as they may contain acetaminophen)
- Children and young adults should avoid aspirin
- Call Emmanuel Health Services or your primary care provider at home if your symptoms are worsening rather than gradually improving
- Avoid going out in public until 24 hours after your fever breaks
We will continue to update the Emmanuel community with information about this public health emergency. We also encourage all to visit the Boston Public Health Commission's website at http://www.bphc.org/Pages/Home.aspx.