Seasonal Influenza (Flu)
You may have seen media reports recently making note that the flu season has started early this year. In addition, a major circulating strain of the flu (H3N2) may cause a more severe illness than other viral strains. On the upside, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Melinda Wharton, Acting Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases is reporting a “well-matched vaccine so far. That bodes well for how well this season’s vaccine will protect against illness, hospitalizations and deaths.”
If you have not received a flu shot yet, please consider doing so. The vaccine is offered free of charge to all Boston University employees through the Occupational Health Center at 930 Commonwealth Avenue. For information on vaccine availability, please call 617-353-6630. For upcoming flu vaccine clinics please see below.
Please also remember to take care to wash or sanitize your hands often and to cough into your shirt sleeve to avoid spreading germs.
Here’s to a safe and healthy winter season!
Preventing the Flu
The CDC states: “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.” Other than vaccination, CDC recommendations for preventing the flu include:
- Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. It is also recommended that those with the flu isolate themselves until they have been fever-free for 24 hours after they have stopped taking fever medication.
- Cover your mouth and your nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. There are almost 500 hand sanitizer stations in academic, administrative and recreational buildings across the University.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces in your work area with Clorox wipes or another antibacterial cleaner, especially when someone is ill.
- Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Flu Vaccine Clinic Schedule
The Occupational Health Center will be offering influenza (flu) vaccine at no cost to Boston University employees. We encourage you to get the vaccine during one of the scheduled clinics to protect yourself, your colleagues and your family. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available. A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an influenza B virus, an influenza A (H1N1) virus and an influenza A (H3N2) virus. These are the three virus subtypes that are circulating most commonly among people today. Please see the CDC website for further information regarding the 2012-2013 flu vaccine at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has information regarding the seasonal flu at http://www.mass.gov/dph/flu.
2012-2013 Influenza Vaccine Information Sheet:
CDC Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Information Statement
Boston University Charles River Campus:
Charles River Campus walk-in clinics will be located at BU Occupational Health Center, 930 Commonwealth Ave, West (entrance on Pleasant Street), 1st Floor
- Wednesday, January 30th 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM AND 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
- Friday, February 1st 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM AND 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM