From: Schiffert Health Center
All of us at the Schiffert Health Center hope you are enjoying your winter break, and we look forward to your safe return when classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 22.
As you may have heard in media reports, this year’s flu season has started earlier and is more severe than the past few years. The best way to combat flu is through prevention.
We highly encourage you to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. It takes 10 to 14 days for the vaccine to become fully effective. Estimates are that the current vaccine is about 60 percent effective in preventing this year’s flu; and even if you do get the flu, the vaccine will help shorten the duration and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Most young, otherwise healthy adults suffer no severe outcomes of flu other than the misery of symptoms (high fever, muscle aches, headache, cough, sore throat) for about a week. We recommend symptom treatment with acetaminophen/ibuprofen, decongestants, and plenty of rest/fluids. Anti-virals are usually not necessary unless symptoms are severe or other conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or immunosuppression exist. Flu is highly contagious, and self isolation is indicated to help control its spread.
Reasons for concern when suffering flu-like symptoms include: fever greater than 100 degrees for more than five days, chest pain or shortness of breath, headache not relieved with analgesics, persistent nausea and vomiting, and symptoms that get worse after getting better. These symptoms should prompt you to seek medical attention.
More information is available online at the Centers for Disease Control website.
Medical Director, Schiffert Health Center
and the entire Schiffert Health Center staff