Campus Flu Activity
March 29, 2013: We are continuing to see a few cases of influenza at the Health Center (3 cases this week alone), even as flu activity in general in the region is waning. Don't let your guard down yet![ More ]
Is it a Cold or the Flu?
|Fever||Rare||Yes, often high (102 - 104F); lasts 3-5 days|
|Headache||Rare||Yes, sudden and can be severe|
|Aches/pains||Mild||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue/weakness||Mild||Yes, sudden and can last 2-3 weeks|
|Chest discomfort/cough||Mild hacking cough||Common, can be severe|
Flu vaccines are available at the Health Center located on the second floor of the Norco Building, check-in at second floor lobby. We are currently NOT experiencing a shortage of vaccines at the Health Center.
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wed 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
No appointment necessary.
Students: Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) covers cost of vaccine at 100% when provided at the Health Center. Other types of insurance will be billed and any balance not paid by insurance will be billed to the student. *Self-pay rate available for non-insured. Student ID and insurance card required.
Employees: Insurance will be billed, no co-pay will be charged. Employees covered by the State Blue Cross plan will not have any out-of-pocket costs associated with the flu shot. Health Services is not responsible for insurance reimbursement rates and cannot cover any discrepancies in reimbursement. Health Services encourages you to fully understand your insurance benefits. If you have questions, contact our Health Insurance and Billing Office at (208) 426-2158. *Self-pay rate available for non-insured. Employee ID and insurance card required.
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, follow these "Be Smart" tips:
B - Be sure to pay attention to the CDC vaccination guidelines for flu.
E - Eat healthy; sleep 7-8 hours; manage stress; engage in regular physical activity.
S - Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius), determined without the use of fever reducing medication.
M - Make sure to wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20-30 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
A - Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
R - Routinely clean surfaces with frequent hand contact with typically-used cleaning agents.
T - Try to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not available, use your elbow or shoulder.
Cold and Flu Prevention
Here are things you can do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of colds and flu:
Practice good hand hygiene.
Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20-30 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs spread this way.
Perform routine cleaning.
Studies have shown that the flu virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface. Clean items and surfaces likely to have frequent hand contact like door knobs, phones, keyboards, counters, desks, remote controls, refrigerator handles, etc. with cleaning agents typically used to wash these items.
Engage in immune-boosting strategies:
- Sleep Hygiene - 7 to 8 hours of sleep is optimal.
- Stress Management - Deep breathing and relaxation techniques can be helpful in managing stress. Chronic stress can make you more inclined to colds and/or the flu.
- Physical Activity -Aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week builds long-term immunity against viruses.
- Healthy Diet - Includes 5 for more fruits and vegetables a day, as well as whole grains and healthy sources of fat and protein.
Know the signs and symptoms of the flu.
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not lead to more serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations, but the flu can.
The symptoms of flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.
For more information: www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms.htm
In general, most people who get the seasonal flu do not need to seek medical treatment. The self-care information below will help you decide if you need to see your health care provider, if you have symptoms.
Seasonal flu vaccinations are available. For Boise State vaccination clinic information, visit the Health Center Calendar of Events.
Practice respiratory etiquette.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don't go to class or work; socially distance yourself from others. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies, if needed.
Home Cold and Flu Care
- Drink Clear Fluids - Water, juice, soup broths, electrolyte beverages to stay hydrated.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen - Take to reduce fever and relieve body aches.
- Antiviral Medication – Antibiotics won't work, but antiviral medication may help for the flu only, but only when given within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Ask your doctor if this therapy might benefit you.
- Sponge Bath - A cool, sponge bath (in water, not rubbing alcohol) may reduce fever symptoms.
- Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Use - Smoking only increases the damage done to your lungs by the virus. Alcohol dehydrates the body.
- Sleep- Get enough sleep to feel completely rested.
- Sooth Sore Throat - Gargle warm salt water (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of water).
- Decongest - Use camphor or menthol rubs to clear nasal passages.
- Inhale - Breathe the steam from hot beverages, also take deep breaths when in the shower.
- Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Don’t go to class or work; socially distance yourself from others. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies, if needed.
- Special populations should check in with their health care provider. Serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 and older, children under five, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
- Wear a facemask – if available and tolerable – when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others. This is especially important if other household members are at high risk for complications from the flu.
- Practice respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
- Be watchful for emergency warning signs (see below) that might indicate you need to seek medical attention for the seasonal flu or H1N1 flu.
For more information: www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm
Emergency Warning Signs
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Resources Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
Central District Health Department -
Idaho Public Health Association -
National and Regional Level Outpatient Illness and Viral Surveillance -