If you’re reading this between early fall and late spring, it’s likely “Cold and Flu Season.” Sounds like a long season, but it is true that cold and flu viruses are in greater circulation throughout the academic year than they are in the summer months. Please read on for information and tips to navigate the season of sneezing, coughing, body aches and more…
The best way to protect yourself and others against seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year as early in the fall as possible. Each year, a multi-strain vaccine is developed that is comprised of the strains predicted to be in most heavy circulation that year. Even when circulating strains don’t match the vaccine exactly, the community is still more protected when more people get the vaccine.
The NYU Student Health Center administers the vaccine as soon as it is available each season—usually in October. Make an appointment at the Student Health Center online at the SHC Open Communicator appointment portal or by calling (212) 443-1000.
Vaccinations are especially important for individuals at higher risk for complications resulting from the flu. These include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions such as heart, lung, liver or kidney disease; asthma; diabetes or those who have a compromised immune system.
In addition to getting the flu shot, good hand hygiene and other prevention practices are key. Click here for some useful tips.
Be prepared for flu season by having these items on hand:
Also stock up on things you won’t want to go out for should you get sick and be out of circulation for a few days:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines influenza-like illness this way: A fever of 100.4° F or greater, plus a cough or sore throat and possibly other symptoms like runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea. Fever is often a key factor, although it is not always present.
Most people who get the flu can recover in a week or less with little or no medical attention, even if it feels pretty miserable. Bed rest, plenty of fluids, monitoring and treatment of symptoms with over-the-counter medications can provide relief and contribute to recovery. However, when in doubt, call the NYU Student Health Center (212) 443-1000 or your personal healthcare provider.
If you are pregnant or have any chronic illness, you’re at greater risk for complications, so please call the Student Health Center (212) 443-1000 or your personal healthcare provider. After hours medical advice is also available by calling the Student Health Center at (212) 443-1000.
If you experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care by calling 911 or NYU Public Safety at (212) 998-2222:
If you become ill, appropriate self-care will be essential to recovering without complications. Good self-care practices can also help protect the health and well-being of others.
There are many over-the-counter medications that can help you through the worst symptoms of flu. Here are some suggestions.
FEVER, BODY ACHES, MILD HEADACHE:
MULTI SYMPTOM COLD MEDICATIONS:
IMPORTANT: Please consult the label on any medication prior to use for proper dosing. Do not take multiple over the counter medications without consulting a pharmacist or medical provider. Also, If you have any allergies, please let your provider or pharmacist know before taking any medication.
If you miss class because you are ill, please contact your instructors directly to request an accommodation. In addition, please also notify your academic adviser. The Student Health Center does not provide medical excuse notes.
Buddy up with one or more friends to look out for each other during flu season. A flu buddy is someone you can call, text or email if you get sick, and who will check on you from time to time, to see if you are okay or need anything — and someone for whom you’ll do the same.
If you have had close contact with someone who has had influenza and have a risk factor for complications, you should consult with the Student Health Center (212) 443-1000 or your healthcare provider as to whether you should receive preventive treatment. You can also access emergency medical care by calling 911 or NYU Public Safety (212) 998-2222.