Flu Guru

​​Flu season is unpredictable in many ways but one thing for sure - flu season is upon us and we need to be prepared for it. DMACC continues to encourage people to be vigilant about their personal hygiene, for example covering your cough and staying home when you are sick. This website is designed to keep you informed and updated. We will provide prevention tips, signs and symptoms of the flu as well as important information from Polk County Health Dept. and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Consider a flu vaccine after discussing this option with your physician.

Our goal is to keep students safe and healthy.

The Flu News

The Polk County Health Department urges everyone six months and older to get their flu shot.

Another way to keep from getting the flu - clean. The news is full of reports concerning flu outbreaks throughout the United States. With stories about there is still time to get a flu shot. In addition, there have been public service announcements about the Three Cs to stave off the flu: Cover your cough; Clean your hands; and Contain germs.

One inexpensive suggestion that has gotten limited air time: general cleaning. Before you scoff at the idea of cleaning your house, here are three ​things to consider.

How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

Most diseases are spread through hand contact.
Every three minutes, a child brings his/her hand to his/her nose or mouth.
Every 60 seconds, a working adult touches as many as 30 objects.

Reading this information makes cleaning look pretty attractive. :)

​So what household cleaning should be done to prevent the spread of influenza virus?
To prevent the spread of influenza virus it is important to keep surfaces especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys (for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

How should linens, eating utensils and dishes of persons infected with influenza virus be handled?
Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick do not need to be cleaned separately, but more importantly these items should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.

Linens (such as bed sheets and towels) should be washed by using household laundry soap and tumbled dry on a hot setting. Individuals should avoid "hugging" laundry prior to washing it to prevent contaminating themselves. Individuals should wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub immediately after handling dirty laundry.

Eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap.


Who Should Be Vaccinated?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the following groups be vaccinated:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months
  • Health care and emergency services personnel
  • Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years of age
  • People are at higher risk for flu because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease).


10 Tips for Flu Prevention

  1. Update your immunization records.
  2. Get a flu shot(s).
    Consult with a healthcare professional for health-related questions regarding your health and the flu vaccine. Remember the seasonal flu will be separate injections, which means more than one shot.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners can be used if no soapy water is available.
  4. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  5. Cough/sneeze into a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt/blouse/jacket; not into your hand. (Throw the tissue in a trash bin as soon as possible.)
  6. Stay hydrated.
  7. Eat a balanced, healthy, nutritious diet.
  8. Get adequate sleep.
  9. If you are running a fever of 100 degrees or more, stay home.
  10. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

What to Do If You Think You Have The Flu

  • If you have a fever of 100° or more (or fever-like complaints such as a flushed appearance, sweating or chills), stay home until you are fever-free for more than 24 hours without medication. Or if no fever is noted, then stay home until you are symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • During periods of fever is when you are most likely to be shedding/spreading germs. This is why you should stay home and limit your interaction with other people.
  • If you spike a fever, your symptoms continue for several days or if you have other diagnosed health problems, (such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease) and develop symptoms of the flu, contact:
    1. Your primary healthcare provider.
    2. If you don't have insurance and you live in Polk County, contact Primary Health Care, 515-248-1400.
      If you don't have insurance and you live outside of Polk County, contact the County Health Department office for the county you live in.

If you cannot make it to class , email your instructor so that your reason for absence can be noted. Let them know when you will be able to make it back to class and make arrangements to complete the assignments you are missing.

Signs of the Flu

  • Fever (100 degrees or more) or chills and cough or sore throat
  • Additional symptoms may include:
    Runny or stuffy nose
    Muscle/Body Aches
    Extreme Tiredness/Fatigue
    (to the point where you cannot
    get out of bed)

Flu Shot Clinics

  • Look for posted information.
  • Contact your primary healthcare provider.
  • Contact your county health department for locations and times of flu shot clinics.

In Addition

DMACC officials are keeping in close contact with local and state officials for the most up-to-date information and recommendations on the flu. The following are reliable websites for more information:

For health-related questions, contact:

Sandy Foster
Ankeny Campus Health Specialist/Nurse,
515-964-6352 or


Suggested Guidelines For Teaching During a Flu Outbreak

  1. Review your course goals and assignments to consider ways in which your students can learn and participate even if they cannot make it to class.
  2. Create your class listserv in advance of a flu outbreak to facilitate communication with your students.
  3. Be prepared to answer student inquiries about making up work. Consider adding to your syllabus what students should do if they contract the flu.
  4. Limit opportunities for students to touch or share materials with each other. For example, you may want to establish a pickup location in your classroom where students are directed to pickup handouts, as opposed to passing them out in class.
  5. Encourage students to:
    • Access their DMACC email regularly so that they will receive college and class communications in a timely manner.
    • Sign up for the DMACC Alert System.
    • Follow the hand washing and cough poster instructions.
    • Stay home if they are running a fever.

Communication Tools for Sustaining Teaching during a Flu Outbreak

  • Single-step tools for presenting information and interacting with students
    Class Listserv
    Faculty Webpage
    Multistep tools for posting lectures and creating collaboration and student interaction online
    Posting Lectures
    Social Networking Tools
    Collaboration Tools

In Addition

DMACC officials are keeping in close contact with local and state officials for the most up-to-date information and recommendations on the flu. The following are reliable websites for more information:

For health-related questions:

Sandy Foster, Ankeny Campus
Health Specialist/Nurse
800-362-2127 | www.d​macc.edu


Video Resources


Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu, 1 minute

How to Know if You Have the Flu: Flu Symptoms


Las manos limpias ayudan a prevenir la influenza (Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu), 1 minute