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Health Advisory - Influenza (Flu)

The RI Department of Health is reporting widespread flu in the state.

  • Be vigilant about handwashing
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine
Influenza (Flu) Symptoms:

The influenza illness can include any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (100 degrees or above) or feeling feverish/chills
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

If diagnosed with influenza, students should:

  • Make arrangements to stay home until free of fever for 24 hours
  • Get extra rest, good nutrition, and lots of fluids (water, juice, PowerAde and Gatorade are best)
  • Email professors to let them know you will be out of class

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and RI Department of Health recommend that people with influenza-like illness remain at home/out of the classroom until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 or greater) without the use of fever reducing medications. If you have a pre-existing health condition, such as chronic respiratory issues (like asthma), diabetes, a heart condition, or immunosuppression, call your primary care provider. Antiviral medications are available by prescription.

The CDC has published additional information online about the flu and antiviral drug treatment.

Emergency Warning:

If you develop a high fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea, confusion or if flu-like symptoms improve but then return with high fever and worse cough, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.