Category Archives: Immunizations and Vaccinations

What do you do when you’re sick with the flu?

We all get sick from time to time. Sometime it is just a minor cold – which is expected when living in this frozen tundra. Sometimes, however, it is the flu (AKA influenza) – a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious and is usually spread by people coughing and sneezing around you. The virus then becomes airborne and can be inhaled by anyone nearby. You can also get the flu if you touch a contaminated surface like a phone or a doorknob and then touch your nose or mouth.

Adults are contagious one day before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill which means that you can spread the flu virus not even knowing that you are infected. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu each year.

So how do you know it is flu? The most common symptoms of the flu are:

- Fever: 100-102°F lasting 3-4 days

- Headaches

- Muscle or body aches

- Fatigue/weakness lasting 2-3 weeks

- Extreme exhaustion at onset of virus

- Chest discomfort and cough, especially if it becomes severe

- Rare: vomiting or diarrhea

- Occasional symptoms might include stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat. However, these symptoms are more likely to be the common cold rather than flu.

Complications of the flu can be life threatening, such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infection, sinus infection, dehydration, or worsening of chronic medical conditions like congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die annually because of flu in the United States, according to NIH.

To avoid these unpleasant symptoms and terrible complications that can prevent you from studying and having social life, there are a couple of things you can do to recover faster:

1. Blow your nose often and right away: gently blow while plugging the other nostril to avoid irritation.

2. Stay rested: sleeping and relaxing helps the body direct energy toward the immunity battle internally.

3. Gargle: moistens a sore throat and brings temporary relief, 1 tsp. of salt per cup of water 4 times per day.

4. Drink hot liquids: relieves nasal congestion and helps prevent dehydration, soothes inflamed membranes that line the nose and throat.

5. Take a steamy shower: moisturizes your nasal passages and relaxes you.

6. Apply hot/cold packs around congested sinuses: either temperature may help you feel more comfortable.

7. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head: helps drain nasal passages.

8. Don’t fly unless necessary: added air pressure puts more stress on your respiratory system.

9. Stay at home and rest 24 hours AFTER a fever has broken: prevent the spread of the flu!

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated early! Flu season usually starts in October and it takes about two weeks for the protective properties of the vaccine to take effect. By being vaccinated, you help your body to build antibodies to fight off the infection easier. To schedule your appointment, call Student Health at (701)777-4500.

Also, don’t forget to wash your hands, eat healthy, exercise, and clean your work space. It will greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu. Stay healthy and away from this virus!


Now that Halloween has past, it has kicked off the fall and holiday season.  This is also known as Well-o-ween.  During well-o-ween we have to remember to stay healthy!

A few ways you can stay healthy during well-o-ween are listed below:

  • Maintain your exercise routine or start exercising.
  • Exercise can help beat the fall blues and it will keep your immune system strong.
  • Don’t forget to keep eating fruits and vegetables
    • With all the holidays and change in temperature sometimes we forget how important fruits and veggies really are.
    •  Kale, pumpkin, apples, sweet potatoes and pomegranates are a few things that are in season right now.
  • Flu seasonGet your flu shot; this will prevent you from being sick.
    • Get enough sleep and maintain stress
      • This helps fight off the flu.


citrus exercise live eat be healthy needle tea veggie




SHS has been Awarded as a Vaccine Storage and Handling Champion for the State of North Dakota

SHS has been Awarded as a Vaccine Storage and Handling Champion for the State of North Dakota.

Students, Here is a thought: Reasons why YOU should get the flu shot…

There are many excuses one can think of to avoid getting vacinated from the flu such as, “I hate shots,” “I got the flu vaccine last year… I don’t need another one,” or “I’m healthy, so I don’t need a flu vaccine.” But the truth of the matter is that it is no fun being sick on campus without mom or dad to help take care of you. Missing classes, missing work, and missing out on fun social events or club meetings are just among the many negative effects the flu can have on a student who is sick.

Being sick with the flu is bad enough, but did you know that Influenza can lead to serious illness and even death? Influenza caninfluenza cause deaths, even in healthy young people. ND flu activity to date is 95 hospitalized, 6 deaths, and 2491 diagnosed cases. Minnesota stats are 2128 hospitalizations and 75 deaths.

According to News 5, a 22-year-old Wright State University student died from flu complications just recently after being hospitalized for four days.  Anyone can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications no matter how “healthy” they are. The flu virus is unpredicatable, but the good news is that it is preventable. Getting the flu vaccine is the number one way to protect yourself, friends, and others at the University.

Fast Facts about the flu shot:

  • Flu  shots have been given for over 50 years and have a high safety ratings (monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug administration).
  • It is important to get vaccinated every year because the body’s level of immunity from last year’s shot, is expected to decline over the past year.
  • Most people say that the minor pain of a flu shot is nothing in comparison to suffering from the flu.
  • It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide full protection, so the  sooner the better! The flu season reaches it’s peak towards the end of January and the beginning of February, so it is never “too late” to get vaccinated because it will offer you protection all year long!
  • The flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that current research indicates will be the most common during this season.
  • You can get vaccinated for the flu right on campus, the UND Student Health Services offers flu shot service and itis relatively quick and super affordable!

Along with getting the flu shot as the number one way to avoid getting the flu, check out these other awesome prevention tips to stay healthy during flu season:

  • Cover your cough
  • Clean your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Keep your distance (6ft+) when possible
  • Stay home when you are sick to get well faster!


UND Student Health Services Hours for Friday, November 23rd

Please note that UND Student Health Services will be open from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Friday, November 23rd (the Day after Thanksgiving Holiday) to serve students.

Students can make an appointment by calling 777-2605 or use our Online Appointment Form. You may also call 777-4500.  We do our best to work in students who have an urgent medical situation, but it is best to call ahead to minimize delays.  Please call in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

If students need care after hours, non-emergency services are available at Altru Urgent Care, which is located next to the Emergency Room at Altru Hospital on South Columbia Road. For information call 701-780-5968.

In the case of an emergency, please dial “911” or proceed to the Emergency Room at

Altru Hospital.Altru Hospital

1200 S. Columbia Rd.
Grand Forks, ND 58201



Please Note: Student and/or student’s health insurance provider are responsible for the costs of emergency and non-emergency after hours care (to include Office Visit and any other applicable ancillary service charges). 

Exception:  In the event student is a Student Blue subscriber and SHS is closed, an Authorized Referral may be issued.  When an Authorized Referral is issued the Copayment Amounts will be waived for Office Visits and Emergency Services from a Participating Health Care Provider.  An Authorized Referral does not guarantee payment of benefits. Benefits for services received as a result of an Authorized Referral are subject to the conditions, limitations and exclusions of this Benefit Plan. Benefit payment will be denied if the Subscriber is not covered under this Benefit Plan on the date the services are provided.

After hours care is also available through several local community providers:

Altru Family Medicine Center              8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

1380 S. Columbia Rd.
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Altru Family Medicine Residency         8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (conveniently located on UND Campus)

725 Hamline St
Grand Forks, ND 58203-2819

Aurora Clinic                                      8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

1451 44th Ave S Unit F
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Aurora Urgent Care                             8:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Dr. Cedric Masa – Julie Solberg, PA-C – Dr. Matthew Viscito, MD
2650 32nd Avenue South, Suite D
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Flu Shots- It’s not too late!

Forgot to get your flu shot last week? Yeah, I did too… Luckily, it’s not too late. Student Health Services does an awesome traveling flu clinic which makes it very convenient to get your shot. Their schedule is below.

I’ve always been the type who never bought into the whole flu shot thing… I had always thought that I never got the flu so why would I get the shot? Did you know symptoms of the flu are actually what you and I call the common cold? I had no clue. At least a few times a year, I get that dang cold that’s super annoying. I’m all stuffed up when I go to bed and have to breath through my mouth, which I can’t stand. I’d cough all through class, making it hard for everyone around me to hear… I’m completely exhausted, and of course I can’t forget the sore throat… and well, you know what I’m talking about.

Now that I know the flu shot can help me avoid all of that, I’m game!

Are you game? If not, here’s some more good information about the flu:

Traveling Flu Shot Clinic

Tuesday Oct. 9:  Med School Rm 5006 9AM-11AM
Wednesday, Oct 10: Facilities Cottonwood Rm 6:30AM-8:30AM
Wednesday, Oct 10:  Health & Wellness Hub (Memorial Union) 12:30PM-2:30PM
Thursday, Oct 11:  Odegard Rm 150 8:30AM-10:30AM
Thursday, Oct 11: EERC Stevens Maximillian Rm 12PM-2PM

Bring your ID card and your Insurance card if you want to file insurance. The cost is $35. Otherwise go to Student Health Services in McCannel Hall (right behind the Union) anytime between now and the rest of the semester to schedule an appointment.

P.S. Peek flu season is October-November- avoid it while you still can!

flu season has arrived!

it’s that time of year…flu season is finally here. influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. the flu virus usually spreads when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. but there are a few easy steps one can take to prevent acquiring and spreading the flu.

the number one way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. the CDC recommends continuing vaccination throughout the flu season, so if someone didn’t get a flu vaccination during the flu campaign last Fall, it is not too late to still get one now. Student Health Services has the vaccine and will continue to administer it throughout the season. main point: Get vaccinated, it is not too late!

it is also important to take everyday preventive action to stop the spread of germs and acquiring the flu virus. cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, always wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and moth, and also try avoid close contact with other sick people.

lastly, it is important to take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. it is important to start taking them within 48 hours of flu symptoms to shorten the length of the illness. some signs and symptoms of the flu virus are a fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue and headaches. so if you feel any of these symptoms, head on over to Student Health Services and get checked out!


It’s Flu Shot WEEK!

Important information from UND Student Health Services

Congratulations and welcome to the University of North Dakota community!  The staff of UND Student Health Services (SHS) looks forward to assisting students with maintaining optimal health so they may realize their full educational potential and thrive academically.  We invite students to take advantage of Student Health Services and its vast array comprehensive services.

North Dakota University System has approved policy that necessitates compliance with Immunization Requirements.  All students enrolled in 1 or more credit(s) at UND must provide documentation of:

  • Two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella).  The first dose must have been given after the first birthday to be considered a valid dose.  TB (Tuberculosis) Screening form is required as well.
  • Effective for students enrolling for Fall 2012 Academic TermAll newly enrolled students 21 years of age and younger living in campus housing (residence halls and UND apartments) will need to provide the required immunization paperwork along with documentation of a Meningitis vaccination given after the 16th birthday.  SHS must have receipt of the above prior to move in and the beginning of classes.  Failure to submit proof of Immunization records will result in a student’s inability to register for classes.  Forms can be located on the Student Health Services website.

Consulting Psychiatric Service Providers from Altru Health System, Dr. Ellen Feldman & Nicole Wilson, NP will transition from the University Counseling Center (2nd Floor) to Student Health Services (1st Floor) in McCannel Hall effective July 1, 2012.  To better serve students, all prescribing providers will be located in the same clinical area.

The North Dakota University System (N.D.U.S.), in cooperation with individual campuses, recently endorsed a health insurance plan designed specifically with students in mind.  Bid awarded to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BC/BS of ND).  For more information, or to enroll, please direct students to Student Blue. Enrolled students will be eligible for coverage with effective date of August, 2012.  The new plan offers a comprehensive array of benefits for a reasonable premium.  Rate information and details to be published soon.

Student Health Services will be implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system Fall, 2012.  When fully functional and exchangeable, the benefits of EHRs offer far more than a paper record can, to include:  improve quality and convenience of patient care; increase patient participation in their care; improve accuracy of diagnoses and health outcomes; improve care coordination; and increase practice efficiencies.  A greater and more seamless flow of information, aided by electronic health records (EHRs) can transform health care by organizing it around the patient.

Best Wishes & Kindest Regards,

Michelle D. Eslinger, M.B.A., Director


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