Flu Season Ahead, Wash Your Hands!

haveuheard flu umd

The Flu ends with “U”

It’s that season again. Flu season is generally from October through May; peaking in December. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact – and what gets closer than dorm life and classrooms – your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important than ever to minimize the inherent risk of getting the flu.

The UMD Health Center offers flu shots with appointments. The flu shot is free to students that are on The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), but they also accept various forms of insurance.  The University of Maryland also has some tips on flu prevention that students should be sure to look at.

Another option to get a flu shot is at:

  • CVS Pharmacy – The closest CVS is located at 7300 Baltimore Avenue, and this location does administer the flu shot. The vaccine costs $40 at this location, but chances are insurance will cover it.  Check first.
  • Express Health Care – Located at 4701 Melbourne Place, this health clinic offers the flu shots and is another good option for students. They accept insurance or self-pay is $150.
  • Target Pharmacy – The Target that is walking distance for all students, and right across the street from campus offers the flu shot. It is located at 7501 Baltimore Avenue #1 and accepts insurance or self-pay at $40.

Wherever students go for a flu vaccine, they should stay around about 15 minutes afterward to be sure they do not have any adverse reactions. I generally am not one to rush right out and get the flu shot, but then again, I wash my hands constantly, don’t stay up way too late most nights, and don’t sit side-by-side in a classroom each day.  I have suggested to my kids over the years that they consider getting vaccinated, but generally, as most college students do, they choose not to. Some, like two of my three kids, just hate shots. Good news; some pharmacies carry FluMist, a nasal spray that works like a vaccine. In the end, they are college students, so there is not much we can say beyond that, but I assure you, if they got the flu, we are their first call.

Of course, there was the year that my daughter called crying because she felt like crap. She felt so sick, I even asked her if she needed me to drive up there, something out of character for me to do. There is little worse than being hours away from your students and not being able to take care of them. Here is our blog on being Sick at School. Here are the typical symptoms for your student to watch for at the onset of the flu.

Early Detection can be Beneficial:

  • Sudden onset of high fever
  • Headache, muscle aches, and joint pain
  • Dry cough
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Fatigue – which may last for a few weeks after the flu

If students do get the flu, they should know that they can get a doctor’s note, so they don’t feel compelled to drag themselves out of bed and trudge to classes. Professors not only appreciate the heads up but also are grateful that students don’t come and share their germs. The flu is highly contagious. Every school has different policies on this, but generally, students are covered with that doctor’s note. As parents, we can hope they never get sick, but if they do, the next best thing might be to send a care package to help them feel better. Check out our blog Care Packages.

Wishing all our Terps a healthy semester.

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2020-09-29T14:49:51-04:000 Comments

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