Cold and Flu
The flu and the
common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by
different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar
flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between
them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the
common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme
tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense.
Colds are usually
milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a
runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health
problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or
The flu season will
last through fall and winter. For the most up-to-date information,
including guidance for colleges and universities, visit the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of
Health and Human Services’ web site Flu.gov.
- Get a flu
shot to help protect yourself from seasonal flu.
- Get a
pneumonia shot to prevent secondary infection if you are over the
age of 65 or have a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma. For
specific guidelines talk to your healthcare provider, or call the
CDC hotline at 1.800.232.4636.
- Make sure
your family’s immunizations are up-to-date.
sense steps to limit the spread of germs. Make good hygiene a habit:
- Wash hands
frequently with soap and water.
- Cover your
mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put used
tissues in a waste basket.
- Cough or
sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.
- Clean your
hands after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or an
alcohol-based hand cleaner.
touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are often spread when
someone touches something that is contaminated and then touches his
or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close
contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your
distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay at home
if you are sick.
- It is always
a good idea to practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be
physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and
eat nutritious food.
for Disease Control and Prevention)
information by clicking on the following links:
The following public
health information is provided to increase awareness about infectious
diseases as reported in the media. No active cases of any of these
diseases have been reported within the Northeast State community.
disease can refer to any illness that is caused by the type of
bacteria called Neisseria meningitis, also known as meningococcus
illnesses are often severe and include infections of the lining of
the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections
(bacteremia or septicemia).
bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat
secretions like spit (e.g., by living in close quarters or kissing).
disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention
is extremely important.
infection is not spread by casual contact (e.g., classroom contact),
touching doorknobs or other surfaces, or breathing the same
- Keeping up to
date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against
- For more
information on Meningococcal disease, visit the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site.
hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic
Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans.
- There is
currently an outbreak in West Africa in the countries of Guinea,
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
recognition is critical for infection control.
period is 2-21 days after exposure, with 8-10 days being most
returning from an affected area but who have not had direct contact
with the body fluids of symptomatic infected persons or animals, or
objects that have been contaminated with body fluids, should monitor
their health for 10 days. Those with a potential exposure should
monitor their health for 21 days post-exposure. Regardless, any
traveler who becomes ill, even if only a fever, should consult a
healthcare provider immediately and tell him or her about their
recent travel and potential contacts.
- For more
information on Ebola, visit the Ebola
website at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
- Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first
reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus
- Most cases
have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula.
- Any traveler
who develops a fever or cough after returning from the Arabian
Peninsula or neighboring countries within 14 days or who has close
contact with a traveler who develops a respiratory illness within 14
days after travel to the Arabian Peninsula should consult with a
healthcare provider immediately.
- For more
information and complete details on MERS, visit the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s web site.
- Help prevent
infectious diseases by practicing positive hygiene habits:
- Cough or
sneeze into your sleeve or tissue.
- Wash or
sanitize hands frequently.
- Avoid sharing
drinking cups, cans, bottles, eating utensils, toothbrushes,
cosmetics, smoking devices and towels.
means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines.
Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses
that results in vomiting and diarrhea. It is often called the
“stomach bug” or the “stomach flu” although it is not caused
by the influenza viruses.
How to Treat
Fluids are important
but can only be taken in relatively small quantities frequently;
large amounts at a time stretch the stomach and trigger vomiting.
Anti-nausea medications such as Phenergan and Compazine can help, but
do require a prescription. Hold off on solid foods for about 2 days
to give the lining of the stomach and intestines time to heal. Start
back with very bland foods such as the BRAT diet, then move up. [BRAT
diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast]
(OTC) medications available at your local pharmacy or grocery store include:
preparations of bismuth subsalicylate (e.g., Pepto-Biosmol) or
Loperamide (Immodium) can reduce the duration and severity of simple
diarrhea. These medications should be avoided if you have a high
fever or blood in the stools because they may make the illness
reliever/fever reducer. Acetaminophen can make you more comfortable.
Ibuprofen is not recommended as it can cause further stomach upset.
Your body needs
fluids to function. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Little urine
or dark yellow urine
weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
Mild dehydration can
be treated by drinking liquids. Sip small amounts of clear liquids
frequently. Try ice chips, sips of water, flat ginger ale or 7-Up,
weak tea, diluted apple juice, Gatorade, clear soups and/or Jell-O.
Severe dehydration may require intravenous fluids, which can help
Call your doctor if
containing blood or black stools
over 101.5 F for more than 24 hours
- Signs of
- Diarrhea that
lasts more than 3 days