Flu Shot Clinic/Walk-In Info

It’s flu season! If you haven’t heard by now, UHS is offering free flu shots to UW students at our walk-in clinic. All you need is your student ID!

When: Now through  Nov. 14, 9 am – 4:30 pm

Where: UHS, 333 East Campus Mall, 6th floor, Green Clinic (just follow the badger paws)

Who: Any registered UW-Madison student with an ID! If you’re really not a needle person, we also offer a nasal spray vaccine for $5.

If you have any of these conditions, however, you should consult with a doctor before getting the shot:

  • Severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • Had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
  • Developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine in the past.

How: Just walk right up! It’s helpful to wear a short sleeved shirt or a shirt with loose sleeves that can easily be rolled above the elbow.

Why: The flu is easily spread, especially considering how often you’re around other people on a campus this size. Also since the virus changes each year, it’s important to keep up to date on your immunization so that you’re effectively protected.

Not convinced? Check out our flu page to learn more about the virus and protecting yourself against it! Stay healthy this flu season, Badgers!

Relaxing and Meditation 101

Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax your muscles. Find your happy place. Let go of your stress. Focus on breathing.

Those are the sounds of meditation—a practice that produces deep relaxation and eases stress. Even if you only have time to do it for a few minutes, meditation can improve your emotional health and general wellbeing if you train yourself to do it well.

Benefits of meditation

  • Allows you to gain new perspectives
  • Helps manage stress and relieve anxiety
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Helps you focus on the present

What you need:

  • Focused attention
  • Relaxed breathing
  • Quiet setting
  • Comfortable position

Types of meditation

A meditation session should last anywhere from 10-20 minutes and usually involves slow, repetitive and consistent breathing. Some popular types of meditation include:

  • Guided: visualizing a relaxing place, incorporating as many senses as possible. Usually let by an instructor
  • Mantra: repeating a calming word or phrase to ward off distracting thoughts
  • Mindfulness: focuses on increasing your conscious awareness of the present moment
  • Yoga: gentle exercise and stretching combined with controlled breathing to promote a flexible body and calm mind.

These are great techniques to practice if you need a study break, are feeling overwhelmed, or even right before bed, to help you re-center and unwind.

Don’t have time for an intense meditation session?

Integrate meditation into your everyday routine

  • Practice breathing deeply
  • Repeat a mantra
  • Walk and meditate
    • Slow down your pace and focus on the movement of your legs. This type of concentration will help you free your mind, and goes hand in hand with “mindfulness” meditation, or heightened awareness of your physical surroundings.
  • Read and reflect
    • Try reading a poem and quietly reflect on its meaning.

With the stress of every day college life, just remember that it’s OK to take a step back, unwind and R-E-L-A-X. Try out some of these strategies and see what works for you!

Take a meditation class with UHS!

Through meditation classes at UHS, you’ll be introduced to the general principles and benefits of meditation. You’ll also practice of some of the different types of meditation including: breathing-focused, mantra-focused, loving kindness, humming, third eye, and chakra.

Wednesdays | Noon – 1 pm (Union South)
Open to students, faculty, and staff
No cost, no registration required
See TITU for room information

Flu shots and flu season—Let’s set some things straight

Every year, we get a lot of questions from students about the flu and the flu vaccine.  That’s why we’ve compiled our most commonly asked questions into one blog post to help Badgers smash the flu this season.

What is the flu vaccine?

The seasonal flu vaccine is a small dose of the dead influenza virus, usually given by needle in the arm. It’s meant to cause your body to develop flu-fighting antibodies, arming you with a defense against the real deal.

Wait, so will it actually give me the flu?

Nope! This is where many nasty myths come from. The injected flu vaccines only contain the dead virus. Meaning it can’t infect you.

What about the flu mist?

The flu mist does use a live virus (it’s the only form of the vaccine that does), but it’s been engineered specifically to remove the part of the virus that makes people sick. Meaning, again, flu immunizations will not give you the flu.

So, why is this myth so popular?

Many people mistake the side effects from the shot for actual illness. In the past, side effects felt like mild flu symptoms, but now the only side effect you’ll experience may be a sore arm. The flu shot season also coincides with cold and allergy seasons, so recently vaccinated people coming down with a mild respiratory bug might confuse it with the “side effects” of their flu shot, though they’re totally unrelated!

If I got a shot last year do I really need another one this year?

Yep. Though most vaccines protect us for a longer time than one season, the flu vaccine doesn’t. This is because different strains of the flu virus dominate each season, so researchers have to develop a different strain of the flu vaccine each year. Bottom line? Last year’s flu shot won’t protect you this year.

Can antibiotics cure my flu?

No way! This is another common misconception. Antibiotics are designed to fight and kill bacterial illnesses and infections. But the flu isn’t caused by bacteria; it’s caused by a virus. Aka antibiotics won’t do anything to help you out.

Does influenza include the “stomach flu”?

The influenza virus we’re talking about here is the respiratory illness that causes fever, chills, body aches, the works. Gastrointestinal viruses called the “stomach flu” cause vomiting and/or an upset stomach and diarrhea, If you find yourself experiencing these kinds of symptoms without a fever (or any other seasonal flu symptoms), chances are you have the commonly dubbed “stomach flu,” unrelated to the seasonal virus that flu shots combat.

Ready to get your free flu shot? Registered UW-Madison students can walk in to 333 East Campus Mall, 6th Floor Green Clinic, between 9am and 4:30pm weekdays through November 14.  Hate shots? We also have the FluMist nasal spray available for $5. 

Find more information about flu shots on the UHS website.

It’s the time of year for sharing…the stomach flu

It might start with just a gurgle or cramp in your stomach or a bit of nausea…but the next thing you know you’re spending a whole lot more time in the bathroom than you’d like to.

noro

It’s likely the stomach flu (norovirus). It’s a virus that causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting—and it’s very contagious! There isn’t any treatment except letting it run its course, but the good news is that it’s not usually serious and you’ll likely feel better in a day or two.

It’s simple to prevent, too! The single best way to reduce your chances of getting sick is washing your hands well and often. And as always, avoid contact with friends who you know are ill and try not to touch your hands to your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Gurgle. If the virus manages to sneak through in spite of your careful hand washing, and you experiencing vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Stay home from class and work until 72 hours AFTER your symptoms are gone.
  • Stay hydrated. It’s important to consume at least two to three liters of liquid per day to reduce your chance of becoming dehydrated.
  • Limit contact. If you have sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea, you should limit contact with others while you have symptoms and for three days after. Alert your roommates that you are sick so they may be especially vigilant with their own precautions.
  • Wash your hands. Continue thorough hand-washing practices.
  • Eat when you’re ready. As soon as you feel up to it, try easy-to-digest foods such as soup, soda crackers, bread, or bananas.
  • Stay out of the kitchen. You must not prepare or handle food for others. Avoid washing your dishes in a common bathroom sink.
  • If you work in food service, stay home and don’t go to work if you are ill with either vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Once you start to feel better, remember that you are still very contagious for the next three days. Continue to limit contact, practice good hand hygiene, and stay out of the kitchen. If you haven’t already, start disinfecting your room/home.

Call your health care provider or UHS at 608-265-5600 if diarrhea/vomiting lasts for more than several days or if dehydration occurs.

More information on norovirus >>