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Flu Information

Influenza Information

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent seasonal influenza infection and is a critical step in preventing healthcare transmission of influenza from healthcare personnel (HCP) to patients and from patients to HCP. Other measures to help prevent influenza  and the spread of infection include proper hand washing, covering your mouth and nose, and staying home when you are sick.

Our goal: immunize 100% of our healthcare personnel and students

Influenza vaccinations are offered free to current Upstate employees, students and volunteers. A valid Upstate identification badge is required. Vaccination at one of the numerous clinics beginning in October is encouraged. Influenza vaccinations are also offered at Employee/Student Health office Downtown and at Employee Health office at Community Campus during listed times throughout the flu season.

See the Flu Calendar for dates and times of availability.

Individuals vaccinated elsewhere should provide documentation of influenza vaccination by submitting a completed Documentation of Influenza Vaccination form or by providing a document prepared by the provider that administered the vaccine specifying the formulation and the date.

Individuals requesting medical exemption for the influenza vaccine need to have a a medical exemption form completed by their physician and sent to Employee/Student Health office Downtown for review and approval by the Director of Employee Student Health.

Ongoing updates on flu activity in New York and in CNY

The state Health Department provides weekly information on flu rates across the state and other flu-related information.

Onondaga County Health Department maintains a record of its reported flu cases.

Flu Facts

  • The influenza vaccination cannot cause the flu
  • Influenza is the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults
  • Each year, over 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu and thousands die from flu complications
  • Influenza is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughing, sneezing, direct physical contact and contact with objects that carry the virus (e.g., doorknobs, phones, etc.)
  • Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, extreme fatigue, headache and body aches, sore throat and runny nose
  • You may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick
  • All persons 6 months or older should be vaccinated
  • By getting vaccinated, health care workers can protect their health, their family's health and the health of patients

Proper Management of Flu-like Illness in Healthcare Personnel

Whether you received an influenza vaccination or not, if you develop respiratory symptoms and fever, you should not report to work, or if already at work, you should put on a face mask, promptly notify your supervisor of your illness and leave work. Flu-like illnesses should be reported to Employee Health.

You should not return to work until at least 24 hours after fever resolves (without the use of fever-reducing medicines). Ongoing respiratory symptoms should be evaluated by Employee Health to determine appropriateness of contact with patients. If symptoms such as cough continue after return to work, you should wear a face mask during patient-care activities. Strict adherence to hand washing is essential.