Seasonal Flu Information
Together, we can slow the spread of influenza (seasonal flu).
Because students live in close proximity to one another, the flu can spread rapidly throughout campus. Transmitted via droplets and small particles through coughs and sneezes, the flu can be stopped. Here’s how you can help stop the spread of the flu and stay healthy through flu season:
- Get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are available on campus at our Annual Flu Vaccine Blitz, while supplies last.
- Wash your hands. Frequent hand washing offers the best protection against the flu. Alcohol-based hand wipes or gel sanitizers help, too.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Difficult? Yes. Effective? Very.
According to the CDC, last year’s flu vaccines reduced the risk of influenza A-related hospitalization among adults by nearly half. Vaccination also provided significant protection against flu-related illness and flu-related emergency department visits, with people who were vaccinated about half as likely to have those outcomes as people who had not been vaccinated. This trend was also seen at UHS last year as the volume and severity of flu cases seen by our providers were among the lowest in the past seven years. This is directly attributable to the very high influenza vaccination rate attained by the student community.
Do you have the flu? Let us help you figure it out.
The flu is characterized by a fever of over 100 degrees with an accompanying cough and/or sore throat. Other symptoms such as body aches and fatigue may be present. The key is severity—the flu feels much worse than a common cold.
Click HERE to review the signs vs symptoms of a cold or flu.
If you get sick…
Stay home and avoid contact with other people—except to get medical care. Most people with the seasonal flu will have mild symptoms and won’t need medical care or prescription medications.
Influenza is caused by a virus. Since viruses are not killed by antibiotics, such medications don’t help to alleviate or shorten this illness. Over-the-counter medications can be used to treat the symptoms.
For Fever, Headache and Muscle Aches
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as directed on the package to reduce fever and ease aches and pains.
- Do not overdress. Wear only enough clothing so you are not chilled.
- A lukewarm bath or shower can help reduce fever.
- Increase liquid oral intake to at least 2-3 quarts in a 24-hour period.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
For a Cough
- Over-the-counter cough medications, such as those with dextromethorphan, can be effective. They are available in the UHS Pharmacy and should only be used as directed on the package.
- Increase humidity in your room through the use of a vaporizer or humidifier.
- Remember to cover your cough and wash your hands frequently.
Most people should be able to recover in their dorm or residence, but watch for warning signs that mean you should seek immediate medical care.
Seek Medical Care at UHS if:
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then regress with worsening cough.
- You’re not urinating as much as usual.
- You experience severe or persistent vomiting.
- Your fever returns after being absent for a day, or a significant change in fever pattern occurs. For example, it was 101 degrees for several days and now it’s 103 degrees.
Seek Emergency Care (911 or 1-5555 on campus) if you experience:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Severe or persistent vomiting
Further information is available through the following resources: