As flu season lingers on in the Midwest, health officials are urging everyone on college campuses—including faculty and staff—to take steps to care for themselves and avoid spreading illness.

“We often talk to students about self-care, but don’t think to take the time for ourselves,” said Dr. Christina Nulty, director of Student Health Services. “The good news is the same principles apply to everyone for preventing illness.”

Good self-care tips include:

  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and water. (A good tip is to hum the length of the tune “Happy Birthday.”)
  • Do not share eating utensils and beverages with others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the tissue.
  • Germs are easily shared on surfaces such as door knobs, water fountains, and other people’s hands. Clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. If you are feeling ill, avoid contact with others.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep, eat right, drink plenty of water, and get regular physical activity. Stress can weaken your immune system.

While students have up-to-date records of doctor visits and immunizations, Nulty said not all faculty and staff members are aware of their health histories. “When was the last time you had a tetanus shot? Are you vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella?” asked Nulty. “Having knowledge of your health history is important.” She added that those with questions should contact their health care providers.