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Important Influenza Information for Fall 2012

Updated January 2013

Check out the information below, with common questions about how to stay healthy during the influenza season. Students with concerns about high risk should call or stop in at the Health Service and discuss their options.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Does IUP plan to give seasonal flu shots this year?

Yes. We distributed free shots this fall to the IUP community during Fall 2012. Free student flu-shot clinics were held at various locations in October, November, and December. Students who are considering getting a seasonal flu shot could talk with a provider about the possibility of getting a shot.

Can I get the shot somewhere else in Indiana?

There are several alternative sites for patients to get the seasonal flu shot in Indiana and other surrounding locations. Concerned individuals should check with their family doctor for advice. Contact local clinics or contact your local pharmacy.

Should I get the seasonal flu shot?

Everyone over the age of six months should get a seasonal flu shot. The Center for Disease Control has identified “high risk” groups of people who should try to get vaccinated for seasonal flu. They include persons over age sixty-five, children under two years old, nursing home patients, persons with chronic diseases (heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, immune system disease, emphysema, etc.), pregnant women, children on aspirin therapy, doctors, nurses, health-care providers, and parents of very young children, to name some. Anyone with conditions such as these, or more specific questions, should ask a doctor if he or she should try to receive the seasonal flu vaccine.

Is the seasonal flu shot the same as the H1N1 (Swine) Flu shot?

Yes. There is no separate shot for H1N1 in 2012. The 2012–2013 vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus, and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 to cause a pandemic. Check with your health care provider to see if you should get the vaccine. Certain groups of people are at high risk for one or the other illnesses.

How can I stay healthy if I don’t get the shot?

“Flu etiquette” goes a long way in protecting against any viral illness. Good hand hygiene is essential, especially in times like these. Care when around those sneezing or coughing, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and washing with plain soap and water can help prevent the spread of disease. Avoid sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, or even cigarettes. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without good hand washing.

Should I go to the doctor if I have the flu?

A person who becomes suddenly ill with headache, pain, fever, vomiting or extreme weakness, or is ill for more than a few days, or seems to be getting worse, should seek medical care. If the health center is not open, the local emergency room is your second resource. An ambulance can be called to locations on or off campus. Students should not report to the Health Service merely for an excuse for class.

What’s the difference between the flu and a cold?

The major difference is the severity and duration of the illness. Both are caused by different viruses and, therefore, are easily transmitted. The flu generally involves a high fever, body aches, muscle aches, a cough, and profound weakness. Vomiting and/or diarrhea can also be present. It can begin suddenly and get worse quickly. Symptoms of the flu can last for more than a week. A cold has congestion and runny nose as classic symptoms. Sore throat, cough, and a mild fever may be present with a cold. Symptoms of a cold can last up to seven to ten days.

Are there other medicines for the flu?

There are medicines made to decrease the symptoms associated with the flu, but they are also expensive and do not completely resolve the flu. In some cases they may provide no noticeable benefit, depending on the situation. A person should ask his or her doctor about these options and their potential benefits. The health center does not carry these medicines, but a prescription can be written if indicated.

If my roommate gets the flu, will I get it?

Each person’s immune system and general health play a part in whether you get sick. Despite all the precautions suggested, the strength of the virus involved and the amount of exposure will determine your risk of coming down with influenza.

To learn more about preventing seasonal flu, visit theCenters for Disease Control website.

  • Health Service
  • Center for Health and Well-Being
    Suites on Maple East
    901 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2550
  • Administration: 724-357-6475
  • Fax: 724-357-6212
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Thursday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Open during lunch hour
  • Closed weekends and major holidays