Center for Health & Wellness

Flu 101

The CH&W encourages all members of the Emerson community to get a flu shot.

The Flu FAQs (.doc) were developed based on documents and guidance provided by the CDC, MDPH and BPCH, as well as Emerson policy and procedure. We think you will find them helpful. Please contact the CHW with any additional questions.

Do I have the flu?

The symptoms of influenza (flu) include fever, cough, sore throat, and sometimes body aches, headache, chills, and feeling tired. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting. The most important thing you can do to keep flu from spreading in your campus community is to stay home if you are sick.

Use the following checklist to help decide if you may have the flu:

  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you have a sore throat?
  • Do you have a headache, body aches, or chills?
  • Do you have vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Do you have a fever of 100.4° F or more?

→ If you said "yes" to a fever of 100.4° F or more AND a cough or sore throat, you have an influenza-like illness.

Should I stay home?

If you have a fever of 100.4° F or more AND a cough or sore throat, you have an influenza-like illness. Stay home for four days after symptoms start or 24 hours after fever has resolved without the use of fever reducing medication- whichever is longer.

If you answered “yes” to only one of the questions above, or if you are ill with other symptoms, stay at home for one day to observe for other symptoms. If other symptoms develop, use the checklist questions again to decide whether to continue to stay home.

When should I see a medical provider?

For tips on treating your symptoms, the CHW has some information for self-care. Call the CHW or another provider if you have:

  • any questions or concerns about your symptoms
  • a chronic disease such as asthma and develop any symptoms listed in the checklist
  • if you have trouble breathing, or pain or pressure in the chest or belly
  • sudden dizziness
  • confusion
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • a fever that returns a few days after going away

For more information about caring for people with flu-like illness at home, see the Boston Public Health Commission's flu website.

If you have the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, you can call Aetna's toll-free Informed Health Line to speak with a registered nurse. Nurses are available 24-hours a day. To reach a nurse, call 1-800-556-1555. 

If you do not have Aetna Student Health, look on the back of your insurance card or on your insurance company's webpage for their 24/7 nurses' line. 

Getting immunized

The CHW encourages all members of the Emerson community to get a flu shot. For students unable to obtain immunization before returning to campus, and for students, faculty and staff residing in Boston, there are several options available.


CVS locations close to campus:

631 Washington Street (Chinatown)
Boston, MA 02111 
333 Washington Street (Downtown Crossing)
Boston, MA 02108
55 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110
587 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116


Get your flu shot at the CHW! All undergraduate students, plus graduate students enrolled in Aetna Student Health Insurance or who have paid the health fee, are eligible. Vaccines are available while supplies last and cost $25, which automatically gets billed to your student account. 

Emerson College and the CHW are committed to providing students, parents, and the Emerson community with updated information as the flu season progresses. We strive to minimize the risk of infection on campus by following the guidelines for colleges and universities promoted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). We encourage you to practice healthy habits and we seek your partnership in combating this public health threat. Your health and wellness determines the health and wellness of the Emerson community.