Flu season is in full swing across the U.S., including Oregon. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the good news is that vaccine is 91 percent effective for those who choose to withstand a little prick of the needle.
It's not too late for UO employees who have not yet received flu shots to protect themselves and their loved ones this season.
As of Jan. 5, there had been more than 250 confirmed cases of the flu in Oregon. While there haven’t been any confirmed cases of influenza in students on campus as yet, health professionals at the University Health Center expect that will change any day.
The flu vaccination is recommended as a preventive measure for everyone, but particularly for anyone who is pregnant or has a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, or heart or lung disease, or is age 65 or older. This recommendation also applies to individuals that anticipate being around any persons of higher risk, including young children.
Flu shots available on campus
The best defense against the flu is to get a flu shot. Students, faculty and staff can visit the University Health Center Nurse Specialty Clinic Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a flu shot. The cost is $15 for students and $28 for faculty and staff. Faculty and staff can pay by cash or check only. Students can bill their DuckWeb account or pay by cash or check. No credit or debit cards are accepted.
To date, the University Health Center has administered more than 2,500 flu shots to students and staff and has additional vaccine available. Faculty and staff can seek off-campus flu shots at medical clinics and pharmacies; however, recent media attention is creating shortages at several locations.
Flu prevention tips
Tried and true methods to prevent the flu and other illness include:
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Wash hands with soap and water often and thoroughly
- Get ample rest
- Eat well, don’t skip meals
If you get the flu
If you get the flu, please stay home and take care of yourself until symptoms go away. Influenza is generally an upper respiratory illness. The most common symptoms with sudden onset include:
- Fever or feeling feverish or chills;
- Sore throat;
- Runny or stuffy nose;
- Muscle or body aches;
- Fatigue (tiredness);
- Rarely vomiting or diarrhea for adults (but may be present with children).
However, if there is any question about symptoms, severity, or need to seek attention, consult with a medical professional. Students may call the University Health Center’s Appointment or after-hour Nurse Advice Line at 541-346-2770.