SMU health officials remind students, faculty and staff to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot.

Potentially severe flu season

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cases of influenza are expected to increase across the country. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, it is recommended that if you did not get a flu shot last fall, you should do so at the SMU Health Center or at a local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office.

National data indicate that this year’s vaccine may be somewhat less effective than in previous years, but getting vaccinated continues to offer the best protection against the flu, according to the CDC.

Where to obtain a flu shot

Flu shots are available at no cost to SMU faculty, staff and students, while supplies last, at the SMU Health Center, 3014 Daniel Avenue, 214-768-2141. No appointment is needed; bring your SMU ID to the Health Center.

In case of a health emergency, students should call 911.

The Health Center has resumed normal operating hours, with flu shots and other services available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Precautions against the flu include:

  • 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 you should do if sick with the flu

  • Stay home and limit contact with others until you 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.
  • If symptoms get worse after you have been on medication for three or four days, return to your healthcare provider to make sure you have not developed a secondary infection. Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or complications should contact their healthcare provider.

Visit smu.edu/flu for more information.

Written by Sarah Hanan