University News

Flu Vaccines at Beu, Tips for Prevention & Care

February 1, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Arm yourself against the flu! Flu vaccinations are available at no cost to current Western Illinois University students at the Macomb campus' Beu Health Center.

"We are experiencing a significant increase in the number of influenza cases on campus," according to Mary Margaret Harris, director of the WIU Beu Health Center. "Consistent with CDC recommendations, individuals with the flu should stay home until free of a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication."

Consistent with the University's student absence policy (, students who are ill should notify their professors directly.

"We understand the importance of class attendance. However, during this time of year, when cases of influenza and other contagious illnesses are on the rise, we would like to ask faculty members to be mindful of their students' health and wellness," Harris added.

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. Seasonal flu symptoms, which develop quickly, include fever and a sore throat and/or coughing, body aches, chills and headache. The symptoms of the common cold are generally much milder than the flu, develop more slowly and usually do not include a fever.

For those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, self-care should be practiced as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) []. WIU-Macomb students who feel ill should contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888, while WIU-QC students should contact their local health care provider. Employees with flu-like symptoms should contact their local health care provider.

Tips to avoid the transmission of seasonal influenza include covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, not hands; frequent handwashing; staying home when sick; and getting a flu shot.

Follow other common sense advice like not sharing cups, straws or eating utensils; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth; and clean commonly-touched surfaces (door knobs, refrigerator handles, telephones, etc). Also, eat a variety of foods from all food groups, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep every night. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper handwashing is the single most important action that people can take to keep from getting sick and from spreading illness to others.

"These prevention measures will also reduce transmission of other winter illnesses like colds and gastroenteritis," according to Harris.

For more information about Beu's services, visit or call (309) 298-1888. For more information related to the flu visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations