Influenza (Flu) information
Be a flu fighter!
This year it is even more important to do everything you can to stay healthy, including protecting yourself and others with an annual influenza vaccination.
Get your flu vaccination at the Medical Clinic
- Easy scheduling. Make an appointment that is convenient for your schedule Call: 320-308-3191 or schedule online: myhealthservices.stcloudstate.edu
- Covered by insurance. Most insurance companies cover preventative services like a flu shot.
- Don't let the flu mess up your semester. Influenza can take a person out of action for a week or more. The flu vaccine is your best insurance against missing school, especially during the end of the semester.
Why get the flu shot?
- It can save your life. While the flu is common, it can cause some serious complications that sometimes require hospitalization, such as dehydration, worsening of chronic illnesses, bacterial pneumonia, and ear or sinus infections. In fact, influenza can lead to death in serious cases.
- You won’t miss as many classes. It’s difficult to miss classes and stay caught up, especially when it’s from illness. Whether you are hospitalized or take time off to recuperate at home, getting the flu could cost you academically.
- You cannot get the flu from the vaccine. A common misconception is that you can contract the flu from a flu vaccine, but that is not possible because the shot uses a deadened form of the virus.
Ways to Prevent the Flu
To protect yourself and the campus from the spread of influenza, there is a lot you can do. Here are some ways you can lower your risk of contracting or spreading influenza.
- Get the flu shot now. Medical Clinic has flu vaccines available for students. The international student insurance plan completely covers the cost of the flu shot. Students can make an appointment by phone, online, or stop by the clinic (Eastman Hall).
- Stock up. Have your own thermometer, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, tissues and gel hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Having your own supply means less chance of coming in contact with the virus. These items are available for purchase at the Medical Clinic.
- Wash those hands. Wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before eating, drinking or preparing food, and always after using the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
- Hands off! Try to keep hands away from eyes, nose and mouth.
- Update your contact list. Add the Medical Clinic to your phone: 320-308-3191.
Cold or Flu?
How to tell if you have a cold or the flu:
- Comes on gradually
- Fever unlikely
- Stomach feels okay
- Body aches unlikely
- Cough possible
- Stuffy/runny nose
- Sore throat possible
- Comes on quickly
- Fever probable
- Vomiting diarrhea
- Body aches possible
- Chills possible
- Dry cough possible
- Stuffy/runny nose
- Sore throat possible
What to do if you believe you have influenza
- Take your temperature. If you have a fever (100°F or higher), you should stay home from work and class until you have been completely fever-free (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours, and you feel well. For most people, this will be 3 to 5 days.
- If you have a “high-risk” medical condition call your health care provider. High risk medical conditions are: asthma or other chronic pulmonary disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy, weakened immune system, or kidney, liver, blood, or neurological disorders. Antiviral medications are recommended for “high-risk” cases and should be taken as soon as possible.
- No appointment needed. Most people recover on their own without medical treatment. Drink fluids to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest and eat what you can. Use ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as directed, to manage fever and body aches. Call a health care provider if your symptoms are not improving after 3 to 4 days. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms listed below.
- No Antibiotics. Antibiotics do not have any effect because influenza is caused by a virus.
- Communicate. Contact your professors, employer, etc. to let them know you have influenza symptoms and cannot return to class or work until you’re better. You’ll be responsible for getting assignments you have missed.
- Isolate. Influenza is very contagious- going to work or class puts others at risk. Avoid public places including public transportation until your fever and symptoms are resolving.
- Don’t share. Flu viruses typically survive on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours, so do not share towels, clothing, eating utensils, keyboards, remote controls, etc., while you are infectious.
- Clean up. When you recover, wash your own sheets and towels. Empty your trash yourself.
When to seek medical advice
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Confusion or sudden dizziness
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Flu symptoms that improve but then return
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions
More information: Centers for Disease Control
For additional help, please contact:
Eastman Hall 2nd Floor