Prevent the flu this season by washing frequently

The best way to clean your hands is with soap & warm water!

The Campus Health and Wellness Nurses have been working with Okanagan College Administration and Health, Safety & Emergency Management Services to spread our message and not illness.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are recommended “when you are out and not able to wash your hands.”

For more information:

1. Public Health Agency of Canada
- Clean hands help prevent the flu: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iif-vcg/wh-lm-eng.php
- Influenza: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/influenza/index-eng.php
- Fight flu: http://www.fightflu.ca/index-eng.php

2. Interior Health Authority http://www.interiorhealth.ca/choose-health.aspx?id=4974&terms=handwashing

3. BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/dis-cond/a-z/_f/Flu/default.htm

4. Government of BC http://www.gov.bc.ca/FluBC/

5. World Health Organization http://www.who.int/influenza/en/index.html


I'm a Student, what do I do if I'm sick?

If you become ill during class let your professor or instructor know and leave class immediately. If you know you are sick, please consider others and don’t attend class. You must notify your instructors or professors that you are currently ill and will return to class as soon as you are able. It is recommended that you do this via email to ensure you have a record of your communication with your instructor or professor. It is your responsibility to do this.

If you don’t know the email address of your professor or instructor you can find it at:
http://webapps-1.okanagan.bc.ca/ok/staffdirectory/default.aspx

It is only by notifying your professor or instructor that Okanagan College may be able to accommodate you and provide you with the flexibility you need to complete your program and or courses. Students in all programs need to be aware that requirements for program completion such as a set number of instructional/shop/lab hours, meeting weekly competencies, and being able to attend and complete practicum placements are limited in the scope in which professors and instructors can offer flexibility to sick students with extended absences. Therefore, it is extremely important that these students connect with their instructor or professor as soon as possible to discuss options for program completion.

What about final exams?
For exams please click on the link below for the Okanagan College examination policy.
http://webapps-5.okanagan.bc.ca/ok/calendar/calendar.aspx?page=Examinations

How is the Influenza Virus transmitted?

The incubation period for the influenza virus is 1 to 3 days and the contagious period is 24 hours before symptom onset and up to 7 days after the onset of symptoms. This makes it critical that infection control becomes our normal way of life.

Transmission of the virus from person to person may occur when germs enter the nose and /or throat. Coughs and sneezes release the germs into the air where they can be inhaled by others.

Germs can also remain on hard surfaces like doorknobs and desktops, where they can be picked up on hands and transmitted to the respiratory system when someone touches their eyes, mouth or nose.

 

What Can I do to Protect Myself and Others?

All strains of influenza can be dangerous; however, good infection prevention measures can help protect you and others if this virus begins to spread rapidly in Canada. Commit to the following daily guidelines:

• Hand washing (with soap and warm water), is the single most effective measure to reduce risks of transmitting infection.
• Hand sanitizer may be used supplementary to hand washing.
• Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. Wash hands immediately after disposing of the tissue. If no tissue is available sneeze into your arm, not your hands.
• Keep hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Keep common surfaces and items clean and disinfected.
• Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat nutritious foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.

How do I Know if I Have Influenza?

You may have the flu if you have a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, sore throat, a runny nose and body aches. Although colds and other viruses may cause similar symptoms, influenza weakens a person much more than other viruses. Most healthy people will feel better in about 5 – 7 days.

Complications such as severe respiratory distress or pneumonia may develop in moderate or severe cases, as well as in people with chronic health conditions.

What if I Get the Flu?

If you believe yourself to be infected, limit contact with others as much as possible to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that students and employees who become ill with influenza-like illness (ILI) self-isolate until they are symptom free.

Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, 24 hours a day / seven days a week if you have more questions or are feeling ill.


Happy, Healthy 2013!