Influenza (the flu)

A contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States the influenza burden results in increasingly more deaths, hospitalizations, physician visits, and infections/illnesses. On average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Pandemic Influenza is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, could cause severe illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in very short time.


  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand cleanser.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze using an elbow instead of hands when a tissue is not available.
  3. Find ways to increase social distance from ill people. Use a distance of 6 feet away from an ill person.
  4. Frequently clean high touch surface areas such as bathrooms, doorknobs and tables with wipes.
  5. Eat a well balanced diet that includes all of the basic food groups and drink lots of water.
  6. Stay at home if you are sick with flu like symptoms for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever of 100 degrees without use of fever-reducing medications. If possible stay in a separate room at home and self isolate which means limit interactions with other people.
  7. Get vaccinated to prevent the flu. The seasonal flu vaccine is available at clinics, doctors offices, and some pharmacies now.
    Also--Consider stocking up on your favorite tissues and cold & flu remedies now so that you can stay in and self-isolate if you get the flu.


  • Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
  • Some flu types may include the above and stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


  • If you have any of the flu like symptoms you should not come to classes or the campus.
  • You may take Ibuprofen, like Motrin, or acetaminophen, like Tylenol, to reduce your fever BUT do not take aspirin.
  • You should contact your medical provider or go to your healthcare clinic if you are having difficulty breathing, have a fever above 100 degrees, or you are getting worse.

We hope you have a healthy school year. Please try to prevent illness from the flu. You may contact Student Health Services by calling 562-860-2451, extension 2321 for more information. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Action Steps for Institutions of Higher Education to Prevent the Spread of Flu