Like much of the country, the incidence of influenza, “the flu,” is on the increase in the Chicago area and expected to continue to rise. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that include abrupt onset fever, headache, body aches, and dry cough.
The best way to decrease your chances of getting the flu is by making sure you are vaccinated. Students, I encourage you to get your flu shot from your health care provider before you return to campus, as it can take up to two weeks to build up your antibodies. Although the Wellness Center will have a limited supply of vaccine available for students next week, the earlier you are vaccinated, the sooner you will build up some immunity. Other ways to help prevent the spread of flu include washing your hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throwing the tissue away, avoiding close contact with sick people, and staying home if you are sick.
Faculty and staff members who are participants in the Loyola Advantage PPO Blue Cross Blue Shield plan and have not already been administered the influenza immunization are eligible to receive the immunization as a wellness benefit, at no cost. To obtain the immunization, please visit your doctor’s office, designated pharmacy location, clinic, or other authorized source. For instances of serious illness, as related to the flu, lasting more than five days, please contact Matrix Absence Management at 800.866.2301 or www.MatrixeServices.com. More information on this year’s seasonal flu can be found at www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2012-2013.htm.
Please help in keeping our community healthy.
Director, Wellness Center