Staying Healthy for the Spring Term

As students, faculty and staff return from winter break, the SMU Health Center encourages them to stay healthy, avoid catching the flu and remember these important precautions:

Get vaccinated with both seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines.
• Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).
• Cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.
• If you become sick, stay home to avoid spreading the flu. Seek medical attention, and find more recommendations below.

For 24-hour medical advice, students can call SMU’s Health Center at 214-768-2141.

Stock shot of single-use syringe A limited supply of vaccines for seasonal flu and H1N1 flu is available to SMU students at the Health Center. Students will be vaccinated on a first-come, first-served basis as supplies last.

Students may go to the Health Center during immunization vaccine hours (1:30-3 p.m. Tuesdays; 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays). No appointment is necessary. Announcements about upcoming spring vaccine clinics will be posted at smu.edu/flu and sent through campus email messages.

The H1N1 vaccine has an administration fee of $15 and can be paid in cash or charged to students’ Access.SMU account. The vaccines are provided by Texas Department of State Health Services. The cost for a seasonal flu vaccine is $25; for students insured with Aetna student insurance program, the cost is $5.

Seasonal and H1N1 vaccines also are available from local pharmacies and physicians. The Dallas County Health Department has an updated list of local pharmacies that have received supplies of the H1N1 vaccine, including the Tom Thumb at 7000 Snider Plaza near campus.

Novel H1N1 flu and seasonal flu are different; it is possible to catch both this season. Both vaccines are recommended by the Health Center and other health agencies. In addition, seasonal flu vaccines administered before September 2009 will not provide protection for the upcoming flu season.

• Learn about SMU’s new mandatory health insurance requirement for students and premium charges.


Students should bring their health insurance cards to Health Center appointments; otherwise, they will be charged full price for any prescriptions.

The Health Center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except home football game days and University holidays). Students should call 214-768-2141 to make an appointment.

A paramedic is available in the Health Center on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. No appointment is necessary.

If students need assistance after hours, they have several options:

Visit a local clinic:
QuestCare, in Snider Plaza at 3414 Milton, is open Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. Call 214-368-4822.
PrimaCare, 6350 E. Mockingbird Lane, is open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 214-828-0448.

See their private physician.

Call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or 911 for assistance.

If a student has an emergency, please call 911 or go to a hospital:

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital: 214-345-6789; Emergency 214-345-7886
Baylor University Medical Center: 214-820-0111; Emergency 214-820-2501
Doctors Hospital: 214-324-6100; Emergency 214-324-6111

For Students Who Have the Flu, the Health Center Is Recommending:

• Take either your Relenza or Tamiflu twice a day to shorten the duration of illness. Take a decongestant to treat your congestion and drainage. For fever, alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol every 3 hours. Increase your fluid intake.

• You are contagious. Please stay home. Students who live in the Dallas area are urged to remain at their family’s home; on-campus residential students who cannot return home should remain in their residence hall until they are well.

• E-mail your professors as soon as possible and let them know you have the flu, or you may call the Office of the Dean of Students for assistance at 214-768-4564. SMU’s Provost has issued procedures for faculty that encourage flexibility on make-up assignments and exams for students who are ill. You may not go back to class until you have not had fever (temp < 100.5 degrees F) for 24 hours without taking ibuprofen or Tylenol.

• In addition to contacting their professors, students are urged to complete the Flu Absence Reporting Form so that SMU can report accurate data to Dallas County and other constituents about the number of flu cases, and also make informed decisions about University gatherings and use of facilities.

• If you have a meal plan, you may give your sanitized ID card to a roommate or friend who can pick up your meals at RFoC. You may not eat in the dining hall until you have been fever-free for 24 hours. You also may contact your residence hall assistant for information and assistance.

• If you leave your room, please wear a mask to prevent the spread on campus. The Health Center is providing masks to students with flu-like illnesses.

• If you get worse after being on the medication for three or four days, please come back to the Health Center. We want to recheck your lungs to make sure that you have not developed a secondary infection. Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or complications should call the Health Center at 214-768-2141.

What Students Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs

• Know the flu symptoms: sudden fever/chills, cough, body aches, fatigue. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees F.

• Practice healthy habits. Students should wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before eating or touching the eyes/mouth, and after coughing or sneezing. They should avoid touching the face, and cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or a sleeve when coughing or sneezing. SMU encourages students to be proactive regarding their health: to assess how they are feeling, see a doctor if needed and to not attend class if they are ill.

• Get a flu shot. The Health Center will offer flu shots. Students should watch their email for clinic dates and times.

Stay up-to-date on the actions SMU is taking on its flu website. If you have questions, feel free to contact SMU’s parent liaison, Deanie Kepler, at gkepler@smu.edu or 214-768-4797.

Read a September 2009 letter to parents about the flu from SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

Read a September 2009 letter to students, faculty and staff from President Turner.

About Sarah Hanan

EA-PubAffairs(Periodicals)
This entry was posted in Health and Safety. Bookmark the permalink.