Columbia Health Flu Season Information

The most effective means to limit the spread of illness is to get a flu vaccine.

Preventive Measures

  • Get a flu vaccine!
  • Use good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are equally effective.
  • Try to avoid casually touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing, with others who are ill.
  • Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups and water bottles.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you become ill, limit your contact with others to keep from exposing them.
  • Disinfect surfaces with a household cleaner, focusing on light switches, handles, telephones, doorknobs and other surfaces people touch frequently.
  • Remain in your residence hall or at home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have fever (without the use of medications that reduce fever, like Motrin or Tylenol).

CDC Guidelines for Seasonal Flu Shot

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued universal guidance recommending all individuals six (6) months of age or older receive the seasonal flu shot. It is especially important for those in the following high-risk groups to receive a shot due to risk of serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk of developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than five (5) years of age
  • People 50 years of age or older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.)
  • People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications of the flu
    • Household contacts or caregivers of children less than six (6) months old

The flu vaccine is generally safe and effective, and utilizes an inactivated flu vaccine, which contains killed viruses. The flu vaccine protects against multiple flu viruses.