Cold and flu season are upon us and all indications are there will be a lot of flu activity, and here at Duke Student Health, we are following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The symptoms of a cold and flu are often similar. The flu more typically has body aches, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting.
The best way to prevent getting the flu is for all of us to get the flu shot. Even though this year's vaccine is not as effective as hoped, the CDC still recommends that everyone that can get the flu shot should get the flu shot.
You are still able to schedule an appointment with Student Health to receive a flu shot. Just call (919) 681-9355.
The good news is that for most people that get a cold or flu, they will get better on their own and do not need an antibiotic (remember: antibiotics don’t work against viruses) or an antiviral (Tamiflu or oseltamivir). Following good home care, including just taking it easy, staying home until any fever has gone away for 24 hours without Tylenol or Motrin or other pain medicine, drinking plenty of fluids and taking an over-the-counter cold remedy, are almost all you will need to do.
There are some students at Duke that are considered ‘high risk’ for the complications of flu. If you are a student that has any of these conditions and you have symptoms of the flu, please come to Duke Student Health to be evaluated, as you may benefit from antiviral therapy.
The CDC, likewise, does not recommend the use of antivirals for people exposed to the flu except in cases where a person that falls into the high risk category is exposed to someone that has the flu. So these students should come in to Student Health to discuss this with a provider.
Thank you and we wish you a happy, healthy and flu-free spring semester!
The Duke Student Health Team.