I got my flu shot — now what?

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18


With a flu season this severe and risky, it is important for the Mount Holyoke community to prevent the flu from spreading and to treat any flu symptoms with caution. Besides getting vaccinated, there are other preventative measures the community can take to keep ourselves and our neighbors happy and healthy. 

Flu symptoms specifically include a cough, sore throat, runny nose, other general congestion, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some people may also experience a fever or chills, but these aren’t always present. A common cold may include some milder versions of these symptoms, but if there’s any doubt, students should call the Health Center during their open hours. 

The first step, according to the CDC, is to avoid close contact with sick people whenever possible — even if this means not sharing dessert with your sniffly roommate.

The next step is to wash your hands consistently and also to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. With an easily transmitted disease like the flu, being aware of how germs spread on and through your body can make a significant difference. 

The CDC also recommends keeping common spaces clean and disinfected. Good places to start are phones, doorknobs, keyboards, gym equipment and tables.

If, despite your best efforts, you do start to get sick, the Health Center has a number of resources. Karen Engell, executive director of College Health Services, recommends making an appointment or stopping by the Health Center for advice and over-the-counter medication.