Union College Health Services Annual Flu Shot Clinic
This year's Flu Shot Clinic will be held on Friday, October 15, 2010 and Thursday, October 21, 2010 at Reamer Campus Center, Room 308. THIS IS A WALK-IN CLINIC: ALL STUDENTS ARE WELCOME from 11:00am to 3:00pm each day. The cost is $30 payment may be made by Cash, Check, or Billing Tuition. Students under 18 years old will need written permission from a parent/guardian.
H1N1 Flu Information
As has been widely reported in the media, individuals ages 5-24, and especially college students, are a high risk group for the H1N1 flu virus. At Union College, we are working hard to stay on top of all information related to this virus and taking all available steps to safeguard the health and well-being of our students. Throughout the academic year, this page will be the primary resource for Union students, their families and the campus community about the H1N1 flu virus and Union's response.
The College also has an Emergency Management Team in place which has identified steps that should be taken in the event of a flu outbreak, and such steps have already been built into Union's detailed Emergency Preparedness Plan. One of these steps is to ask students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms consistent with the H1N1 virus to leave campus and return home to their families.
Our Health Services Department, working closely with the Schenectady County Health Department and following the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), will keep this page continuously updated with any new information as it becomes available. Please check back frequently. The CDC's H1N1 Web site also contains valuable information for your reference.
Of course, the best method of addressing the flu is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It is believed that the H1N1 virus is transmitted primarily through respiratory secretions.You can stay healthy and take steps to prevent the spread of flu and other illnesses by:
- Practicing good hand washing/hand sanitization. The College has installed a number of hand sanitizers in buildings around campus to assist with this
- Observing proper respiratory etiquette. This means covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, disposing of facial tissues properly and immediately, and washing your hands with soap or an alcohol-based cleanser after coughing or sneezing. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible, since this is how germs are spread
- Avoiding contact with others if you have symptoms of the flu or other respiratory illness (see below). Especially if you have a fever, you should stay home and refrain from participating in any classes,sports,or campus activities until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications. Please remember that any time you go out, you are impacting your fellow students and the rest of the campus community.
- Engaging in healthy behaviors such as regular exercise, which boosts the immune system, as well as avoiding substances which weaken immunity, such as cigarettes and alcohol
- Getting the seasonal flu vaccine. We will be offering this vaccine to students here on campus this Fall; please check back with this site for more information on when and where the vaccine will be given.
In addition to the preventative measures above, students should come to campus prepared with a basic cold and flu kit containing a thermometer, fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), cough syrup, hand sanitizer, and plenty of tissues.
Symptoms of the Flu
Following are the most common symptoms of the flu (both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus):
- Sudden onset of cough, nasal congestion and sore throat
- Fever of 100 degrees or more
- Muscle aches/body aches/chills
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or vomiting (in some cases)
Many of these symptoms may also result from other seasonal illnesses, so if you are not sure if you have the flu, call Health Services at 388-6120 (do not go in person).
In addition, call Health Services immediately if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, whichmay indicate a worsening of your condition and a need for medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return accompanied by fever and a more severe cough
Specific Steps To Take If You Are Experiencing Flu-Like Symptoms
If you are a student experiencing flu-like symptoms, you should take the following actions:
- Do not attend any classes or extracurricular activities
- Call Health Services at 388-6120 to reportyour symptoms (do not go in person). Also, please do not go to the local emergency room with flu-like symptoms
- If possible, leave campus and return home via private transportation as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Avoid public transportation
- If you must leave your room to return home, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Such masks will be available on campus through Health Services
- If it is not possible for you to return home, immediately isolate yourself from other individuals by remaining in your dorm room or campus residence until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Advil.
- If you impose self-isolation, notify your RA, HouseManager, House Coordinator, or Greek President.The Residential Life, Minerva, or Greek Life Office will coordinate the delivery of meals to your room.
- Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Take medications to reduce your fever, such as Tylenol or Advil
- Contact Health Services immediately if your symptoms appear to be worsening or if you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or a weak immune system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I am not sure my symptoms are those of the flu?
When in doubt, be on the safe side and stay in your room. Avoid attending classes or campus activities, and call Health Services at 388-6120 to report your symptoms.
When can I resume normal activities after having the flu?
It is important that you avoid contact with others until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Advil.
Why do I have to leave campus if I have the flu?
Our priority at Union is the health and safety of all our students. If you believe you have the flu, the best course of action for everyone is for you to remain out of contact with the rest of the student body, especially given the ease with which the virus can be spread through respiratory secretions in group situations. This can best be accomplished by returning home to your family and seekingtreatment from your home physician.
What about anti-viral medications?
Up until now, the symptoms most frequently associated with the H1N1 flu have been fairly mild. Anti-viral medications typically only shorten the course of the illness by a day or so rather than making it go away, and because there is great concern over the possibility of developing resistance to an overuse of anti-virals, these medicines are generally not recommended. If you believe you may have the H1N1 flu, pleasedo not come to Health Servicesfor anti-viral medication. Call us and we will determine the best course of action.
How are cases of H1N1 virus confirmed?
Health Services will follow the guidelines established by the local Health Department regarding the need for testing.
Is it true that there is a vaccine for H1N1 in development?
There have been reports in the media that such a vaccine may be available at the end of October. Union will adhere to CDC guidelines regarding the communication and distribution of such a vaccine. But we will offer the regular flu vaccine on campus this fall-- please check back with this site for details.
Where can I go for more detailed information?
Visit the CDC Web site. Or, for specific questions about the H1N1 virus and Union College, call Barbara Lahey, Union's Medical Director of Health Services, at 388-6120.