Flu season is quickly approaching Keene State. Flu season usually lasts from October to March or April. Coordinator of Wellness Education Tiffany Mathews and nurse Deborah Starratt had some advice for students and faculty on how to stay healthy.
One of the biggest tips is getting the flu shot. “The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu. Anyone who gets the shot will be protected. The flu can lead to pneumonia or hospitalization, and it can come on so fast. Even if you get the flu, your symptoms won’t be as severe or long-lasting,” said Starratt.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, feeling tired all day and occasionally diarrhea or vomiting.
According to Mathews, there were four flu shot clinics across campus throughout the year last year. They were held in the student center, gym and occasionally in the res halls. The number of students who received the shot at each of these clinics ranged from 15 to 50.
KSC is a part of the New Hampshire Children’s Vaccination Program, which provides free vaccinations for children 18 years old and younger. For students 19 and older the vaccine needs to be purchased. Students can always go to the Wellness Center anytime for a self-scheduled flu shot. There will also be a flu shot clinic on Wednesday, October 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the student center in the west dining room. Students can also go to the Urgent Care in Keene to get the shot for free, without needing insurance.
“Even after you get the shot, try your best to stay healthy. It can take about 10 days to two weeks for the antibodies in the shot to start working. So get it sooner rather than later. But obviously cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t share anything with friends. Keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth. Clean your laptop and phone. Just basic, easy ways to prevent catching germs that can lead to the flu. And if you do get sick, drink lots of water, and get lots of rest. And get outside for some fresh air if you can,” said Starratt.
“Students also need to have good communication with their professors. If you miss class because you’re sick professors can check with the dean’s office about absenteeism, but we usually don’t provide written excuse notes. However, if you are seen in the health center that is verified. But only miss class if you absolutely have to,” said Mathews.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away and to stay away from others as much as possible. They also recommend that everyone six months and older should get the flu shot.
Grace Brown can be contacted at