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FAQ's for the Flu

Symptoms to watch for

The symptoms of the influenza virus in people commonly have a sudden onset, is a lower respiratory infection with a fever of 100 degrees or higher, and may last up to two weeks. A cold, on the other hand, more commonly has a slower onset with upper respiratory issues, usually no fever, and can include sore throat and congestion.

If you think you have the flu

If returning home is not reasonable, then you should stay in your residence until you are free of fever without the use of medication for at least 24 hours.

Contact your faculty and tell them you are out with the flu. If you cannot call or email your faculty, ask someone else to do that for you.

You may not have to visit the health center. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends visiting a medical provider if you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of severe illness from flu, are concerned about your illness, or develop severe symptoms such as increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or rapid breathing. On-call Provider for emergent or urgent concerns after hours & weekends 509-235-6151

If you live in a residence hall

Let your CA know you are ill and please check in with your hall office each day. If you do not feel like it, they will check on you! This is to make sure YOU get the care you need. The Main Housing Office (509.359.2451) can be contacted for phone numbers to each Residence Hall Office.

Don't forget to get in touch with your professors/faculty so they know you are out with the flu!

Questions or Concerns? Please call HWPS at 509.359.4279 for more information on the flu.

If you live alone or do not know anyone

We suggest that as soon as you starts classes, you should get to know at least one other person in your classes or who lives nearby. It might be a good idea to talk to that person and agree to help each other if one of you becomes ill. It is anticipated that nearly half of the population will have the flu, so in all likelihood, that person will be ill at some point. If neither of you become become ill, that is great news! At least now you know one more person than you did before.

If you live in a residence hall or Greek house, there are others who can help. You have access to both student and professional staff, as well as housemates. Consider the "flu buddy" approach and mutually agree to help if one or the other becomes ill.

If you live in a Greek House

Let the Office of Student Activities (OSA) know you are ill. This is to make sure YOU get the care you need. The phone numbers are:

  • Greek Life Advisor - 509.359.4711
  • Student Life Office Main - 509.359.7924

When should I return to class?

When you have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication.

Even if you feel better with medication, as long you have a fever, we are asking you to stay out of the general population.

Please remember that full time EWU students have access to no cost medical care through Rockwood Clinics of Spokane. Not all services are covered, but visits for cold and flu are part of the program, as is the flu vaccine. The Cheney Medical Center is the most commonly used clinic and their number is 509-235-6151. Students can be seen at any location for the covered services. A complete list is available at www.rockwoodclinic.com.

I don’t have the flu but I am concerned

  1. The key will be to stay well and help prevent illness.
    1. This means plenty of sleep, eat a well balanced diet, get regular exercise, get outside when possible.
    2. Hand washing and cough etiquette continue to be an important part of flu and cold prevention. Please note the following:
      1. Always cover your cough! Use your sleeve or a tissue, not your hands.
      2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
      3. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
    3. Keep your common living areas clean.
      1. Frequently wipe down and clean your common areas, such as tables, door knobs, telephones and community computers.
      2. The Center for Disease Control recommends:
        1. The adherence to good personal hygiene, proper hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette is especially important for preventing the spread of influenza in non-healthcare settings in the community. Schools may dismiss classes, and businesses may consider implementing social distancing as an influenza control strategy early on during a moderate or severe influenza pandemic. While school remains in session and when businesses reduce onsite staffing, environmental infection control for non-healthcare settings focuses on regular cleaning for most surfaces and targeted use of disinfection for surfaces touched frequently by hand:
        2. Keep housekeeping surfaces and countertops clean of visible soil by cleaning with detergents and water or proprietary cleaners, followed by rinsing with water. Repeated application of disinfectants to table and desktop surfaces is unnecessary. Frequent use of room air deodorizers to disinfect the air is not recommended.
        3. Follow label instructions carefully when using disinfectants and cleaners, noting any hazard advisories and indications for using personal protective items (such as household gloves).  Do not mix disinfectants and cleaners unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so.  Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can be harmful, resulting in serious injury or death.
        4. Clean and disinfect bathroom surfaces on a regular basis using EPA-registered detergent/disinfectants. Alternatively, clean surfaces first with detergent and water and then disinfect with an EPA-registered disinfectant in accordance with manufacturer instructions. (Note: Disinfectant products available in grocery stores or hardware stores are all EPA-registered.)
        5. If EPA-registered disinfectants are not available, use a dilute solution (1:100 volume/volume, approximately 600 parts per million [ppm]) of household chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect bathroom surfaces. To prepare this solution, add ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of clean water, or 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart of clean water. Apply to a cleaned surface, preferably with a cloth moistened with the bleach solution, and allow the surface to remain wet for minimally 3 - 5 minutes.
        6. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in the home with a detergent/disinfectant in accordance with label instructions (e.g., microwaves, refrigerator door handles, door handles).
        7. Wipe frequently touched electronic items (e.g., remote controls, hand-held gaming devices) with hand-sanitizer cloths.
        8. Carry hand-sanitizer cloths in cars to use on hands and surfaces in cars.
  2. Get your seasonal flu shot!
    1. Full time EWU students can get the shot for free at Rockwood Clinic of Spokane.

Please remember that full time EWU students have access to no cost medical care through Rockwood Clinics of Spokane. Not all services are covered, but visits for cold and flu are part of the program, as is the flu vaccine. The Cheney Medical Center is the most commonly used clinic and their number is 509-235-6151. Students can be seen at any location for the covered services. A complete list is available at www.rockwoodclinic.com.

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