Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Welcome back for the Spring 2018 semester. UHS is here to support your health and wellness and your academic success. 

We wanted to share with you some important information to help you to stay healthy during the current nationwide flu alert. 

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. It is not too late. University Health Services offers the flu vaccine to all students.   There is medication to shorten the course and  make the symptoms less intense if you catch the flu early.  You can get this medication prescribed at UHS. To make an appointment for this, or for any other reason, please call UHS General Medicine at 617-287-5660 or make an appointment online at MyHealth Beacon.  And please, if you are sick, do not come to school, stay home, rest and take care of yourself.  Your professors and classmates will thank you for this. 

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills – It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Seek medical care if you have signs of serious flu-related complications such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion

How is the flu spread?

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching objects (such as keyboards) that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Further, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill. You are contagious one day before becoming ill for for 5-7 days after illness begins.

To learn more about how to protect your health, manage the flu, or help someone else who may be ill, please click here

Your team of health care providers and support staff are to keep your healthy throughout the year.  To make an appointment or to ask a question, please do not hesitate to call us at 617-287-5660.