The 2010 Flu Season is Approaching!

This year's flu season is quickly approaching!  During the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, many individuals avoided becoming ill by getting vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and for H1N1.  This year the seasonal influenza vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 so only one shot is necessary for adults.  The CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu and a shortage of vaccine is not anticipated.  The University Health Center strongly urges everyone in our campus community to get a flu shot.  It is the number one way to prevent getting the flu!

Please see our website www.montclair.edu/health/ for dates and times of flu shot clinics.  It can also be obtained through your local health department, many drugstores, and your own health care provider.

We also encourage everyone to take the following prevention steps:

  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective and have been installed in many areas throughout campus.
  • Avoid contact with ill persons and do not share food, drink, or utensils.
  • Practice respiratory (cough) etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze. Don’t cough into your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are spread this way.
  • Get vaccinated for the flu.  This year the seasonal  flu shot also protects individuals against H1N1 so only one shot needed.  Anyone age 6 months and older is eligible to get the vaccine.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever, cough, and/or sore throat are common indications of the flu. Look for possible signs of a fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, is sweating or shivering, or has a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Have a thermometer available to take your temperature. Other symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headaches, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness. Individuals with the flu should stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away. If you are a student, notify your professors by e-mail or phone of your absence. Faculty, staff, and administration suffering from flu should follow the same self-isolation guidelines as students.
  • Know the warning signs of complications of the flu.  The majority of individuals who contract the flu will not need to seek medical care. However, individuals with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes) and pregnant women are at greater risk of complications.  Warning signs include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath , pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion,  severe or persistent vomiting, or flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough. Call your health care provider or the University Health Center at 973-655-4361 if you develop any of these symptoms.
Additional information on influenza is available on the University Health Center Web site at  and at www.cdc.gov/flu