Student Health Services

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Student Life


Influenza Information and Resources

What is influenza?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. You still need to be re-vaccinated even if you had the vaccine last year. You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine. The influenza vaccine will prevent most cases of the flu; however, if you DO get the flu after you've been vaccinated, your symptoms should be milder and you will have less chance of serious complications.

What are the symptoms of flu?

Symptoms can include a fever of 100 degrees F or higher, cough and sore throat. In addition to these major symptoms, individuals may experience fatigue, headache, body aches, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these steps to protect your health:

Can I get my flu shot on-campus?

See blue sidebar for upcoming clinic date information.

What should students do if they have flu-like symptoms?

What can UB Parents do to support their student's health?

  1. Send a care package of personal health items. Items may include:
    • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for pain, fevers
    • Digital thermometer
    • Antacids and/or antidiarrheals for upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.
    • Heating pad or instant hot packs
    • Cool mist humidifier for winter months
    • Hand sanitizer
  2. Be a messenger. Remind your UB student to practice good health habits. Tell them to get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  3. Stay informed. Current information regarding influenza can be found at reputable websites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( External Site Link Icon )

If you have flu symptoms, should you come to campus?

As with any contagious illness, you should try to limit contact with others to contain the spread of the disease. It is best if you remain at home until you are better and no longer infectious.

What about classes and other academic obligations?

Evaluate your obligations for the next week and where necessary contact your instructors/employers directly to apprise them of your situation and to arrange an appropriate accommodation e.g., accessing course material electronically, excused attendance, submitting papers or other coursework via email, re-scheduling a test, performing an alternative assignment, etc.

Does Student Health Services write medical notes for students who miss class?

The CDC asks that course instructors not require medical documentation to validate a student's illness or to return to work, as doctor's offices and medical facilities (including Student Health Services) may be extremely busy and will not be able to provide such documentation in a timely way. This echoes the existing UB excuse note policy.

Student Health Services | Michael Hall | 3435 Main St | University at Buffalo | Buffalo, NY 14214-3077 | Tel: (716) 829-3316 | Fax: (716) 829-2564 | Director: Susan M. Snyder | E-Mail