Letter to Parents from Jane Canney, Vice President for Student Affairs

Subject: Flu 2013
January 15, 2013

Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

There has been a substantial increase in the number of individuals with influenza (flu) in Minnesota, over the last few weeks. In preparation for spring semester, we request that you encourage your student to get their flu shot before returning to campus, if they have not already been vaccinated. Flu shots are typically available through local health care providers or drugstores. The vaccine offered this year has been found compatible with the influenza strains that are being seen in observational testing.

If your student has already returned to campus and has not yet received a flu shot, they can schedule a flu shot at the University of St. Thomas Health Services where a limited amount of vaccine is still available. Flu shot appointments can be scheduled by using the online UST Health Services myHealthPortal or by calling 651-962-6750 to schedule an appointment for a flu shot. The cost will be submitted to your student’s insurance or as an alternative, $20 for those who prefer to pay cash.

If your student does experience flu-like symptoms (abrupt onset of fever with a cough and/or sore throat), it is the expectation of the University that they stay home from class, work, and extracurricular events, as well as limit the contact with others until they are completely free of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Most people with the flu experience an insignificant course of illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. However, if your student has chronic health problems or a weakened immune syndrome, they should contact their health care provider or UST Health Services if they develop flu-like symptoms. Antiviral medications are available for treatment of more severe cases of influenza or for patients with the above mentioned chronic illnesses. These medications should be initiated within the first 48 hours of symptom onset. Students with questions about their symptoms may contact UST Health Services at 651-962-6750.

For more information on the flu, visit the Minnesota Department of Health at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/stats/index.html; the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/flu/ ; or the University of St. Thomas Health Services UST Health Services websites.            

Our goal is to offer a healthy campus environment in which your student can thrive. Everyone can contribute to this goal by taking these precautions. Thank you.

Sincerely,


Jane Canney, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs