The Minnesota Department of Health and local officials are reporting unusually high occurrences of the regular -"seasonal"- influenza (flu).
Influenza spreads when a person with the flu coughs or sneezes. Help us prevent the spread of influenza at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University by taking the following important steps:
1. Get vaccinated. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends vaccination for all, against regular, seasonal influenza. That step is especially critical for persons at high risk of influenza-related complications.
2. Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub available in strategic locations on both campuses. This is very important for everybody - those who are well, those who are sick and those who are coming back after being sick.
3. Stay healthy by practicing good health habits including getting enough sleep, exercise, nutrition and hydration and avoiding contact with sick people if possible.
4. Avoid sharing personal items including drinks, food or eating utensils, and personal care items.
5. Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue when one is available or cough or sneeze into an elbow or arm. Hands should not be used to cover a cough or sneeze. Avoid touching mouth, eyes, nose and face.
6. Employees and students should stay home if they have flu symptoms. That means a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, with cough and/or a sore throat. Other symptoms include runny nose, headache, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea (in addition to fever and cough or sore throat).
7. Sick employees or students should self-isolate or return home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without use of fever-reducing medication like Tylenol or Motrin. They should avoid contact with others except to get medical care. This includes staying away from class, meetings, sporting events, public transportation, and other social gatherings or activities.
8. Students should contact the academic advising office to notify instructors of their illness so arrangements can be made to access class material. Students should NOT feel pressured to return to classes in fear of compromising their education before their fever has been gone for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine.
9. Students should contact their residential life staff for assistance accessing meals, cleaning supplies or additional support while recovering from illness. To request an "ill-student meal" fill out the following form:
10. If you believe you are at risk for complications please seek medical attention.
For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website or the Federal Flu website.