Flu is widespread; how you can help prevent transmission


Dear Members of Our U-M Community:

Influenza is of increasing concern in our community. I would like to encourage you to get vaccinated, to wash your hands frequently, stay home if you have flu symptoms and cover your cough.


The U-M Health System has sufficient supplies of vaccine for its patients. If you are a UMHS patient, you may call your provider for an appointment. The University Health Service (UHS) did run low on vaccine but received an additional supply last week. U-M affiliated individuals, ages 10 and older, may call 734-764-8320 to schedule an appointment at UHS. At many local pharmacies, vaccine is in short supply, but additional vaccine is on order. Call your local pharmacy to check on availability.

Local flu incidence

Reports of confirmed influenza cases in Washtenaw County are high. The age range of confirmed flu cases is 6 months to 91 years, with 18-29 year olds comprising 16 percent, and 30 – 49 year olds being the most frequently diagnosed at 35 percent. Since October, the U-M Health System has seen an increasing number of very ill individuals from around the state, some requiring intensive care. Most of these people have not been vaccinated.


Many cases of flu are mild, and acute symptoms usually resolve in 3-5 days, although cough may linger. Unfortunately, flu may also be quite severe and cause you to lose 7-10 days from class or work. Symptoms of flu include fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or greater, plus cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, severe body aches, chills, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.

What to do if you have the flu?

If you become ill, in order to protect others, please stay at home until at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (temperature over 100 F, have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Self-isolation will help reduce the spread of germs to others. Ask a Residence Hall Advisory, a family member, a roommate or friend to check on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed. If you must miss work or class, be sure to notify your supervisor or instructor. For more information on seasonal flu, you can visit: vpcomm.umich.edu/pa/flu/


Robert Winfield, M.D.
U-M Chief Health Officer
Director, University Health Service, Student Life 


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.