Flu Season Information
We have the 2013-2014 Flu Vaccine in stock and the first clinic was held on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 (261 flu shots were given). The second flu clinic held on 10/30/13 had 48 flu shots given, third clinic on 10/31/13 had 92 flu shots given, 4th clinic held on 11/14/13 had 33 shots given. Flu shots can be given as part of your visit, or you may come in and have your flu shot without a scheduled appointment. Many insurances cover the vaccine, (i.e. University BCBS policy covers the Flu Shot for employees and eligible dependents), if you do not have coverage that can be billed, the cost is $25.00 and we accept cash, checks made payable to Northern Michigan University or Mastercard, Visa or Discover. We do participate with the Michigan Care Improvement Registry and can provide you with a copy of your current immunizations, when there is a Flu Outbreak, the hospitals may require proof of your current Flu Vaccine. If you have paper copies from previous immunizations, feel free to bring that information in and we can add to your record, when time permits. This year, winter not only means cold season, but influenza as well. Let's work together to try to keep the NMU campus as healthy as possible. The last flu season reached epidemic levels and had caused serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. There are some very easy things we can all do to keep campus less vulnerable to severe cold and flu outbreaks.
Common symptoms of seasonal influenza are high fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, body ache, fatigue, runny nose, and occasional intestinal complaints. . Most people who become ill will suffer mild to moderate symptoms for several days and recover fully in about a week. Most that become ill will not need to see a physician. However, if you become ill and have questions about whether you should see a physician, contact the Health Center at 906-227-2355.
To help keep the NMU community as healthy as possible this winter, please do the following:
- Wash your hands often. Use hot water and soap or a hand sanitizer. While washing them, rub your hands vigorously for a minute or two.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill, especially those who are sneezing and coughing. When out in public, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as your hands may have been in contact with surfaces contaminated with a flu virus.
- Take care of yourself by eating well, drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of sleep to help keep your immune system strong.
- When you sneeze, do so into your elbow. Sneezing into your hand or a tissue is better than sneezing without any deterrent, but these methods put flu virus on your hands that can then be transferred wherever your hand goes.
- If you are running a fever above 100 degrees, please stay home or in your residence hall room. Isolate yourself to the extent you can until your fever has been gone for 24 hours. If you live in a residence hall, contact your RA for assistance. Meals can be delivered to your room when you are sick.
- Treat fever and aches with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, not with aspirin.
- There is an antiviral medicine that can help (Tamiflu) but it must be prescribed within 48 hours of onset of flu.
- When missing class/work due to illness, e-mail or phone your instructors and/or supervisors to explain your absence.
- Get a flu vaccination. The vaccine protection against the actual circulating viruses is very good this year.
- You may obtain flu shots at the Health Center on a walk-in basis from 9a-11 a.m. and from 1:15-4 p.m. each weekday. The charge for a flu immunization this year is $25.00 for students, faculty and staff. The University Insurance covers the vaccine, if you have commercial insurance, please check if the vaccine is a covered benefit on your plan (Code for the vaccine is 90658) the vaccine is safe and in no way can “give you the flu”. It takes 10-14 days for the immunity to develop, so you should get the vaccine as soon as possible and use the precautions listed above. If you develop typical symptoms of fever, cough, aching, etc., we can precribe an anti-viral medicine if within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. Many insurance plans cover the medication, but if you do not have insurance, please be advised that the medication does cost $124.30. If you suspect you have the flu, we have a test by nasal swab that can be done in approximately ten minutes (Covered by some insurance plans, but $25.00 without) and we would be able to prescribe the medicine if positive, without a scheduled visit.
We have the 2013-2014 Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for review and paper copies are available at the Health Center, please feel free to ask clinic staff if you have any questions. The consent form may be found here , you may complete and bring to the clinic, or Health Center, or this can be done electronically when at the Health Center. For more information about seasonal influenza, go to www.cdc.gov/flu