Monitoring the Flu: SMU Urges Preventive Measures

With the early arrival of flu season across the country and in North Texas, SMU health officials are urging students, faculty and staff to take preventive measures to protect their health.

Cases of influenza are expected to increase throughout the flu season. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, it is important that our community members take these precautions:

Get a flu shot. A limited number of flu shots are available at no cost at Health Center immunization clinics Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 9 to 11 a.m. The Health Center also will offer shots from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 23.

  • Students should bring their SMU IDs to the immunization clinics, and should complete the online  Flu Vaccine Form and bring it with them.
  • Students may call the Health Center at 214-768-2141 to schedule a flu shot if they are unable to attend an immunization clinic. Flu shots also are available at local pharmacies, clinics and physician’s offices.

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces such as door handles. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve, and avoid touching your face. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.

Monitor your health. Flu symptoms include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.

What to do if sick with the flu

Students with flu symptoms should stay home. Ill students should limit contact with others who are not sick. Those with flu-like symptoms should not return to class until they no longer have a fever (a temperature of less than 100.5 F) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Resident students who have flu symptoms may order meals for pickup from RFoC at Umphrey Lee by contacting Tammie Henderson (tammieh@smu.edu).  Roommates and friends picking up the meals must have the ill student’s SMU ID card.

Students should seek medical attention if they have acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or a fever of more than 100.5. They must bring their health insurance cards to Health Center appointments; otherwise, they will be charged full price for any prescriptions. They should talk with a doctor about appropriate medicine to treat flu or flu-like symptoms.

If students get worse after being on the medication for three or four days, they should come back to the Health Center to have their lungs rechecked to make sure they 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.

Where to find health care

The SMU Health Center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students should call 214-768-2141 to make an appointment. 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 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays-Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 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-Sundays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 214-828-0448.

See their private physician.

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

Parents with questions or concerns: Please contact Deanie Kepler, director of SMU Parent & Family Programs, at 214-768-4797 or gkepler@smu.edu.

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