December 10, 2014
SMU health officials remind students, faculty and staff to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot.
SMU offers free flu shots for all SMU students, as well as benefit eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses, while supplies last.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have not yet gotten the flu shot this fall do so as soon as possible. Cases of influenza are expected to increase nationwide, with flu activity typically peaking between December and February.
According to the CDC, early national data indicate that this year’s vaccine may be somewhat less effective than in previous years, but getting vaccinated continues to offer the best protection against the flu.
Flu shots are available at the Health Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students may call 214-768-2141 to make an appointment or walk in; however, those without an appointment may experience a brief wait. Please bring your SMU ID to the Health Center.
The Health Center will offer shots through Tuesday, December 23, and will reopen after winter break on January 12.
Other precautions against the flu include:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces such as door handles. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve, and avoid touching your face. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.
- Monitor your health. Flu symptoms include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
What to do if sick with the flu
- Seek medical attention if experiencing acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or a fever of more than 100.5. In case of emergency, call 911 or visit a hospital emergency room. The Health Center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; call 214-768-2141. For information about after-hours options near campus, click here.
- Stay home and limit contact with others until you no longer have a fever (a temperature of less than 100.5 F) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Students with the flu should email their professors as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu, or they may call the Office of the Dean of Student Life for assistance at 214-768-4564.
- Resident students who have flu symptoms may order meals for pickup. Those picking up the meals must have the ill student’s SMU ID card. For meal pickup at Umphrey Lee, contact Tammie Henderson (214-802-8973 or firstname.lastname@example.org). For meal pickup at Arnold Dining Commons, contact Shawna Bass (768-2391 or email@example.com).
- If symptoms get worse after you have been on medication for three or four days, return to your healthcare provider to make sure you have not developed a secondary infection. Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or complications should call the Health Center at 214-768-2141.
Please contact the Health Center at 214-768-2141 for more information, or visit smu.edu/flu.