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Graphic that says, 'Get the shot, not the flu' with a smiley face inside the o.

Why Is It Important to Receive the Flu Vaccine?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

Practice these habits to protect yourself and to avoid spreading harmful viruses and bacteria to others.
  1. Avoid close contact: When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too. In the same way, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Stay home when you are sick: This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose: Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  4. Clean your hands: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth: Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her face.
  6. Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more information about the flu.

Contact Us

Student Health Services

Peter J. Fine Health Center 312

(202) 921-6208

(202) 651-5090

(202) 651-5743

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