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Flu Season is Here - Take Action Now


 

Jan. 14, 2013 -  If you have the flu, stay home, follow your healthcare provider's recommendations, and prevent the spread of the flu. If you don't have the flu, it's not too late to get a flu shot! Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine.

This is the strongest flu season nationally and in Massachusetts in several years. To prevent the spread of flu, please review the information below. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their health care provider or local pharmacy to get vaccinated as soon as possible if they have not already received a vaccine this flu season. MCLA Health Services is no longer offering the flu vaccine this season, but vaccine supplies are ample statewide. Check with a nearby provider or pharmacy or use the online flu vaccine finder.

To prevent the spread of flu, practice frequent hand washing, preferably with soap and warm water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water not available), cover a cough or sneeze with a sleeve rather than hands, and stay home from work or school if sick.

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do NOT need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you are mildly ill, you should stay away from urgent care clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If you have symptoms of flu, you may contact MCLA Health Services by phone during regular office hours to discuss your symptoms with a provider at 413.662.5421. MCLA Health Services will not be offering laboratory testing to confirm flu. Students who are already sick are encouraged not to return to campus until better.

If you develop a fever greater than 100F and/or other flu symptoms such as a cough or sore throat, you should leave campus or self-isolate in your room for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (with no fever-reducing medications). You should stay home or in your room except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. Students who need to have meals brought to them in their rooms can contact their RA or RD for assistance.

Students who need to leave campus or self-isolate should complete the Student Self-Isolation Form. Don't forget to complete the return form once back on campus. Please remember that as part of our privacy policy, MCLA Health Services does NOT provide student excuses for class absences to faculty.

Please check out the Flu Self Care Sheet found at MCLA Health Services website.