Prepare for the coming flu season
As the fall semester ramps up, Columbia Health is working with campus partners to prepare for the coming flu season. Here are a few key strategies to help Columbia students, faculty, and staff avoid the flu:
- 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).
Columbia Health will be hosting a series of flu vaccine events beginning October 1. Individuals in higher risk categories (e.g. chronic medical conditions, immunocompromised, pregnant, over age 50) can visit Medical Services in John Jay Hall (4th Floor) on a walk in basis to receive a flu shot now. Flu vaccines are available six days a week on campus (Mon-Sat).
If you think you may have been exposed to the flu, please talk with your primary care provider about getting a flu vaccine and ask if prophylactic treatments is appropriate for your situation. Most Columbia students can make a primary care appointment with Medical Services.
You can learn more about preventing the flu, when/where to get a flu vaccine on campus, and much more on our website.
Also check out these flu resources from Go Ask Alice!