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Stay healthy this fall: Avoid the flu and other infectious diseases

Oct 24, 2014

With cold-and-flu season around the corner, Pacific Health Services reminds students, staff and faculty to take common-sense precautions to avoid getting sick.  

"These are precautions we all should take year-round, but they are especially important this time of year," said Beth McManis, director of Pacific Health Services. "Everyday preventive actions can help slow the spread of germs that can cause many different illnesses and offer protection against colds and flu."

McManis said that Pacific Health Services keeps in regular touch with public health authorities and has plans in place to cover expected illnesses as well as emerging illnesses like Ebola.

Here is her advice for staying healthy:

  • Get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. All students must submit proof of required immunizations  by Nov. 15. Health Science, Music Therapy and Athletic Training students are required to get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is recommended for all others. Those who don't comply with the policy will be fined $100 for each semester that they are not in compliance. Pacific Health Services has a limited supply of flu vaccine left but the vaccine can be obtained at any pharmacy and most medical offices.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. And limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

  • If an outbreak of flu or another infectious illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.

For additional information about preventing the flu, visit


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