Influenza Information

Influenza prevention

Influenza is thought to spread by contact with respiratory droplets. Therefore, students, faculty and staff can reduce their risk for contracting and spreading these infections by getting a yearly flu shot and practicing good hygiene. 

Free flu vaccines available for students at the Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC)

Every year the DSHSC provides free flu shots to students. While supplies last, the Decker Student Health Services Center is administering free influenza vaccines to students. Students may schedule a same day, walk-in appointment by going to the patient portal, selecting the clinic “Influenza Vaccine Clinic,” then choosing the appointment reason “Influenza Vaccine Appointment.” Change the date of the search to look for appointments on the day you desire to get your vaccine.

Other precautions to take:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

People with the flu should not go out in public, other than to seek medical care, until their temperature is less than 100° for 24 hours.

For more information on influenza, visit the CDC website

  • How does the flu spread?
    Influenza (“the flu”) is spread by contact with the respiratory droplets or secretions of infected individuals. After contact with the flu virus, 1 – 4 days usually pass before symptoms develop. A person with the flu is contagious from the day before they develop symptoms until their temperature is less than 100 °F for 24 hours (without using medication to lower their temperature).
  • What are symptoms of the flu?
    Symptoms of influenza may include any combination of the following: sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, body aches,
    fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. There is no reliable way to tell the difference between influenza, a cold, and COVID-19 without performing a test. Students with any of these symptoms should seek a test within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms, even if they seem mild.
  • What should I do if I have flu symptoms?
    People at low risk for complications from the flu do not need to seek medical care, unlike those at high risk. Low risk individuals should prevent spreading the infection to others by isolating themselves in their room until their fever is less than 100 degrees for 24 hours (without using medication to lower their temperature). Such individuals are urged NOT to attend classes. The use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen is recommended to control fever and pain, as is rest and increasing fluid intake. Those at high risk from influenza should see a medical provider as a medication is available to reduce their risk of complications. The medication must be started within 48 hours of symptom onset.
  • Am I at high risk for flu-related complications?
    • Pregnant women
    • American Indians and Native Alaskans
    • Adults age 65 years and older
    • Anyone who has asthma
    • Anyone who has a neurological or neurodevelopmental condition
    • Anyone who has a chronic lung disease
    • Anyone who has a chronic heart disease
    • Anyone who has a chronic liver disease
    • Anyone who has a chronic kidney disease
    • Anyone who has a blood disorder (such as sickle cell disease)
    • Anyone who has a metabolic or mitochondrial disorder
    • Anyone who has a weakened immune system due to medications or illness
    • Anyone who is less than 19 years old and is prescribed long-term aspirin therapy
    • Anyone who is considered morbidly obese (BMI greater than or equal to 40)