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Flu Shot Clinics, Best Protection; Second, Know the Symptoms

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 21, 2009

Two seasonal flu clinics for faculty, staff and their families (age 9 and over) will be held in November. The vaccine protects against three stains of flu viruses but not the H1N1.

Both clinics take place in the MUB, room 338/340. The first is Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second is Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The clinics have been scheduled on different days and times so employees can choose between getting the shot before or after work, or during their lunch hours.

There is no cost to UNH employees who present their Harvard Pilgrim insurance card. Bring the ID cards for each family member who will be getting the vaccine as well. For non-Harvard Pilgrim members, the cost is $25, payable by cash or check.

Registration is not required. Allow 20 minutes after receiving the shot before leaving.

The clinics are being done in collaboration with Human Resources and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Harvard Pilgrim is partnering with vendor Maxim Health to provide the on-campus clinics.

If you become ill and are unsure of whether you have the flu or a cold, here are some of the differences.

With the flu, people usually have a fever for three to four days; 100.4˚ F to 102˚ F is typical. That’s rare with a cold.

Ditto for the headache that flu suffers get. While common with the flu, it is unusual to have a headache with a cold. And there is never exhaustion with a cold but with the flu, it is one of the early symptoms. Fatigue and weakness can sometimes present with a cold. With the flu, it is usual and can last up to three weeks.

People with colds never report vomiting while it often accompanies the flu but doesn’t always. A cold can produce a cough and chest discomfort; with the flu both can be severe.

The best protection against the flu is vaccination. Next is taking steps to avoid becoming inflected; the flu spreads primary person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. So cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, or into a tissue. Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water or a hand sanitizer. And avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.

If you develop any of the following symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pressure or pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Dizziness         
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve and then return with fever or worse cough

Take this quiz to see what you know about the flu.

For more information on the flu, visit http://www.usnh.edu/hr/health-wellness/swine-flu.html. For information on the H1N1 flu, visit Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.  
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