2014 Archives

Take precautions against the flu

December 19, 2014

With the arrival of flu season across the country, SMU health officials urge you to take preventive measures to protect your health.

Potential for a severe flu season

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cases of influenza are expected to increase. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, SMU health officials recommend that if you have not yet gotten a flu shot, that you do so as soon as possible to allow time to develop protection against the flu.

According to the CDC, 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.

Where to obtain a flu vaccination

Flu shots are available from the SMU Health Center at no cost to SMU students, benefit eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses, while supplies last. No appointment is needed; please bring your SMU ID to the Health Center. Those who have not had a flu shot at the Health Center are urged to get one at their local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office.

Health Center winter break operating hours

  • December 19: The Health Center is open today until 5 p.m. before closing for winter break.
  • Special operating hours January 5, 7 and 9: The Health Center is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will offer flu shots during that time. The SMU Pharmacy also will offer services January 5, 7 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • January 12: The Health Center resumes normal operating hours, and flu shots will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
  • For Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) during winter break: Please call 214-768-2277 and an emergency contact number will be provided 24/7.

Local healthcare providers

Community members who haven’t had a flu shot at the Health Center are urged to get one at their local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office.

Healthcare providers near SMU include QuestCare, 3414 Milton in Snider Plaza, open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. QuestCare will be closed December 24-25 and will have limited hours December 31 and January 1. Call 214-368-4822.

For information about other options near campus, click here.

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

  • 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.
  • Resident students who come down with the flu during winter break are asked to contact their Residential Community Director, who will be available to coordinate assistance.
  • 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. If you have chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or complications, please call your healthcare provider.

Learn more at smu.edu/flu.