It’s an almost inevitable part of each winter season in Wisconsin. That’s right, the flu has arrived on campus, and it’s here to stay through the spring. Hopefully, you protected yourself by getting your flu shot already, but if you haven’t, you still have an opportunity to do so.
Though walk-in flu shots at UHS have ended for the year, you can still call UHS for an appointment to get a free flu shot. Simply call 608-265-5600 to make an appointment. Get your flu shot now to avoid contracting the virus during finals!
Unfortunately, college environments create perfect circumstances for the flu to spread. The virus is passed from person to person through droplets made when someone sick with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can even be transmitted when a person simply touches a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touches their own mouth, eyes, or nose.
This means that the flu spreads most easily among people who live, work and play near other people. A residence hall, classroom, or even a crowded party are all situations where the flu virus can spread.
Symptoms of the flu typically include some combination or all of the following:
- A 100°F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
If you exhibit these symptoms, you should be careful to distinguish between the flu and the common cold. Generally, flu symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu than the cold.
In addition to getting your flu shot, there are simple, everyday actions to can take to prevent you and others from getting the flu.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue handy, try to cough or sneeze into your elbow or arm instead of your palms.
- Wash your hands often with warm soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as you can. Germs spread this way.
If you believe you have the flu, stay home from work and classes to avoid spreading the virus. Your friends, classmates, and professors will thank you for it! Rest up too. Your body is only able to ward off the virus if your immune system is strong, and a lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. Make it a priority to eat well, too. A proper amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as drinks like tea and orange juice, can only help your body keep illness at bay.