Tips for students to stay flu-free

As the end of the semester looms closer, students may find themselves balancing a chaotic schedule, studying for finals and making arrangements for the holidays. All that stress during flu season can make students more prone to sickness.

According to Dr. Egilda Terenzi, Director of Student Health Services, students can avoid the flu and its debilitating effects if they take the proper precautions.

Why should college students get vaccinated?

Students are urged to get the flu vaccine because it could take two full weeks out of their life, which is a lot of time during a 15-week semester.

Symptoms include four to seven full days of fever, aches and fatigue, and sometimes what doctors call prostration, a state of extreme exhaustion and weakness.

Does the collegiate lifestyle make students more prone to the flu virus?

Certain aspects of the college lifestyle, such as less sleep, infrequent or skipped meals, increased stress, long evenings and excessive alcohol consumption are directly tied to a decrease in immune response and leave students more at risk for cold and flu viruses.

Where and when can I get the vaccine?

The vaccine is offered in the Student Health Services building Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How much does the vaccine cost?

The shot is $15, considerably less than other practices. The Doctor’s Walk-in Clinic, for example, charges $30 for the shot.

In years past, students living in residence halls were able to get the shot for free. Is this being offered this year?

A donation of 500 doses of the vaccine will be offered to all students, but will be available in the residence halls, in order to target students who live closely around many others. As of now, there is no date for when the vaccines will be distributed, but keep an eye on the SHS Web site:

For students who aren’t going to get the shot, what are the best preventative measures they can take?

Students who don’t want to get the vaccine should wash their hands frequently, try not to touch their nose or eyes throughout the day, get enough sleep and limit stress as much as possible.

Morgan Rotberg can reached at (813) 974-1888 or