It’s not too late to get a flu shot

Published January 30, 2018

Influenza is widespread in New York State and Erie County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health. And numerous news agencies have reported that some of the influenza strains in circulation right now are particularly severe.

With the start of the spring semester, and faculty, staff and students returning to campus from all over the world — including parts of the U.S. where flu activity is very high — UB is prepared for a significant flu season.

It is not too late to get your flu shot, advises Susan Snyder, director of Student Health Services, pointing out that the flu shot remains the best way to prevent the flu.

While UB is not holding any more formal flu vaccine clinics — the university held several during the fall semester — students still can obtain a flu shot by making an appointment at Student Health Services, Snyder says.

And faculty and staff, as well as students, can obtain flu shots at their doctor’s office and at local pharmacies, she adds.

Snyder says Student Health Services follows CDC guidelines related to influenza prevention and vaccination: Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

“Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently,” she notes. “Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.”

Snyder says that in combination with an annual flu shot, there are a number of simple things individuals can do every day to stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; germs spread this way.
  • Don’t share eating and drinking utensils, lip balms, straws, etc.
  • Take care of your immune system by eating well, getting plenty of sleep, engaging in physical activity and managing stress.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

To access additional information or to learn what to do if you are sick with the flu, consult the Student Health Services website.