With cold and flu season in full swing and exams approaching, it’s important to protect yourself and others from getting sick, as well as know how and when to seek medical attention.
Getting sick can be especially stressful when preparing to write exams. If you’re feeling unwell, how you manage your symptoms depends on the symptoms you are experiencing. While some symptoms necessitate medical attention, many can be managed at home with rest, hydration and over-the-counter pain relief or fever reducing medications.
If your symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or you have a condition that puts you at a higher risk of complications, you may want to see a medical professional. For those on campus, Koerner Pavilion clinic, Orchard Commons clinic, drop-in Nurse on Campus booths, and University Village Medical and Dental Clinic are all available.
For those off campus, there are a number of health services that accept walk-ins or provide urgent and/or emergency care. If you’re unsure what service is right for you, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 to speak with a health system navigator for free health information and advice in over 130 languages.
One of the most effective ways to stay healthy this season is by getting flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months old and older, protect against virus exposure and can reduce the severity of complications should you get the flu. You can book a free flu shot through Student Health Service or a variety of off-campus clinics.
If you are registered with the GetVaccinated/Health Gateway program, you will receive a notification when it is your turn to book your next COVID vaccine. You will have the option to book both COVID and flu shots together. For the 2023 season, COVID vaccines are mostly being distributed through pharmacies. If you do not have MSP or a PHN, you will need to call 1-833-838-2323 (toll free) to register.
If you’re feeling unwell and have to miss a class, follow the instructions in your syllabus—your course instructor should not need to see a sick note but may need more information. If you have to miss class for an extended time due to illness, or your condition is preventing you from completing graded work or exams, you may want to consider requesting an academic concession; check with your academic advising office to see if you are eligible, or have any questions.
I hope these tips serve you well this cold and flu season. Wishing you the best of luck with your exams!
Associate Vice President
Student Health and Wellbeing