September 27, 2012 (View printable version)
To UWRF students, faculty, and staff,
Get a Flu Vaccine!
One of the best ways to avoid getting influenza is to get an annual flu (influenza) shot (see below for where persons can obtain influenza vaccines for the 2012-2013 influenza season, including two on-campus flu shot clinics). All people 6 months and older are now recommended to receive annual influenza vaccination. CDC recommends that influenza vaccination begin as soon as vaccine becomes available in the community and continue throughout the flu season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza, and influenza seasons can begin as early as October.
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, and fatigue, and vomiting and diarrhea may also occur. If you have influenza symptoms, you should stay home, meaning do not go to classes or work for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever. Ask a roommate, friend, or family member to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed. For students living in the residence halls, isolation meals can be arranged by completing the isolation meal form or by calling (715)425-4444 and asking for Dining Services. Disposable thermometers are available at each residence hall front desk and the Student Health Services office at 211 Hagestad Hall. For students who have influenza symptoms, contact your instructors via email or phone to let them know you will not be in class. You are expected to make arrangements to retrieve class notes from a peer and complete all missed work in a reasonable time frame. Communicate with your instructor if you have questions.
In most cases, healthy individuals who develop influenza symptoms do not need to seek medical attention. Those with underlying medical conditions who develop influenza symptoms should contact their health care provider.
Below is information about where persons can obtain influenza vaccines for the 2012-2013 influenza season, and where to go for more information about seasonal influenza.
Influenza shots (including the intradermal flu shot, Fluzone) and FluMist (the intranasal influenza vaccine) are covered by Student Health Services at the River Falls Medical Clinic for current students. UWRF students must call ahead for an appointment to the River Falls Medical Clinic at (715)425-6701 or students may also contact their own health care provider if they wish. UWRF faculty and staff should contact their health care provider.
Currently, we plan to have two seasonal influenza vaccine clinics on campus this fall:
Seasonal influenza vaccines are also currently available through both Pierce County Public Health Department (715/273-6755) and Saint Croix County Public Health Department (715/246-8263) for $30. Please check local papers for area clinics, dates, times, and locations, or call for more information.
The Influenza Vaccination Information Statement for the 2012-2013 seasonal influenza vaccine is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-flu.pdf (Inactivated influenza vaccine) or http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-flulive.pdf (Live, intranasal influenza vaccine).
For more information about what’s new about the flu vaccine for the 2012-2013 flu season, check out the Centers for Disease Control web page at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2012-2013.htm.
To learn more about influenza, check out http://www.flu.gov or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Seasonal Influenza web page at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/influenza/index.htm. In particular, check out “Take 3 Steps” to Fight the Flu at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm.
Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about a new flu virus that has been found in U.S. pigs and that has infected people too, including cases in Wisconsin. This virus – called H3N2v – may spread more easily from pigs to humans than is usual for swine flu viruses. However, the virus does not usually infect people and is not spreading easily among people in the general community. The severity of human illness caused by H3N2v is similar to seasonal influenza. Public health authorities are watching this situation closely. For information about how to protect yourself against H3N2v, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-factsheet.htm.
Alice Reilly-Myklebust, RN, MSN
Director, Student Health Services and Counseling Services
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
410 South Third Street
River Falls, WI 54022