2015-2016 Flu Season


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to prevent or fight the flu: 1) get vaccinated, 2) take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs that lead to the flu and 3) if diagnosed with the flu, take antiviral medications prescribed by your doctor to treat the flu.

Flu Vaccine Availability
The Thomson Student Health Center has the flu vaccine. You can just walk in and let the second floor front desk or Allergy, Immunization & Travel clinic know you would like to get the vaccine – no appointment needed. Flu shots will be given at the health center from 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Monday-Friday. To reduce possible wait times to receive your vaccine, you can also attend one of our upcoming flu clinics:

Flu shots are FREE for students who have paid the student health fee, which all students enrolled in six or more credit hours have paid with their tuition. For students enrolled in five or less credit hours and who have not paid the student health fee, the flu vaccine is $20.

The vaccine is $20 for faculty and staff. Faculty and staff can get their flu shots at the Benefits Fair on Sept. 21, attend one of the other flu clinics or walk in to the Thomson Student Health Center and let the second floor front desk or Allergy, Immunization & Travel clinic know you would like to get the vaccine – no appointment needed. Flu shots will be given at the health center from 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Why it’s important to prevent the flu

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.

Complications of flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response. Get vaccinated now so that you will be protected when flu season begins. In the United States, influenza season usually begins in October and can last until May.

How to prevent the flu

  • Get the flu vaccine!
  • Even if you get the flu, the vaccine helps build your immunity, which could lessen the severity and duration of flu symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water, especially after touching surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects often.
  • Use hand wipes and sanitizers.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and stay away from people who are sick.
  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Drink lots of water and eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Stay active and exercise.
  • Students who have flu symptoms should make an appointment to see a General Medicine Center provider online at www.sc.edu/myhealthspace or call 803-777-3175.

Flu symptoms

  • A temperature higher than 100F
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden onset of dizziness

If you have the symptoms described above

  • Students should make an appointment with the Student Health Services General Medicine Center by visiting MyHealthSpace at 803-777-3175
  • Self-isolate (except to get medical care) until at least 24 hours after fever subsides without use of fever-reducing medicine

When to seek emergency medical care

  • You have difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • You have a purple or blue discoloration of your lips
  • You have vomiting and are unable to keep liquids down
  • You have signs of dehydration such as dizziness when standing or absence of urination
  • You have seizures or uncontrolled convulsions
  • You are less responsive than normal or have difficulty thinking

If you fall within one of the following categories and have been exposed to anyone with the flu or have flu-like symptoms, promptly call your physician

  • Pregnant women
  • People younger than 19 who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • People who are morbidly obese
  • People with chronic pulmonary (asthma), cardiovascular (except high blood pressure), renal, hepatic, hematological (sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders (including diabetes), and immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or HIV
  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults older than 65
  • Residents of chronic care facilities or nursing homes

Are you caring for a loved one with the flu? Follow these tips to protect yourself and others in your home.

  • Keep everyone's personal items separate. Avoid sharing computers, clothes, towels, sheets and eating utensils.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched around the home.
  • It's okay to wash everyone's dishes and clothes together. Use detergent and very hot water. Wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.