Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Dear Columbia families,

Greetings from Columbia University! I hope that you all had a safe and happy holiday season and wish you good tidings in 2013. My campus colleagues and I are excited for the start of the new semester on Tuesday, January 22, which will reunite our entire Columbia community.

To help your student begin the new year in good health, Dr. Samuel Seward, Associate Vice President and Medical Director of Columbia Health, has been in email communication with all Columbians about staying healthy during cold and flu season. I share his letter with you to help ensure that all Columbia students have access to information regarding cold and flu care and preventive measures to limit the spread of flu in our community.

I invite you to visit the Columbia Health flu website ( and encourage your student to take advantage of the upcoming flu shot event on Tuesday, January 29.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Columbia Health or Parent and Family Programs.


Matthew Patashnick
Director of Parent and Family Programs
Phone: 212-854-2446
Email | Facebook | Web

Flu Information for Students

Dear Students,

As we prepare for the start of a new term, Columbia Health wants to share important information about staying healthy during cold and flu season.

As you may know, a large portion of the U.S., including New York City, has confirmed increased levels of influenza (flu) and influenza-like illness (ILI) in recent weeks. We strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to take preventive measures to limit the spread of flu in our community. Here are simple, quick steps proven to be effective:

• Get the seasonal flu vaccine. It is not too late.
- Columbia Health will provide free flu shots Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at Lerner Hall, Broadway Room,
from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (University ID Card required)
- Alternatively, you may schedule an appointment at Medical Services in John Jay Hall by calling
(212) 854-2284.
• Use good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Alcohol-based hand cleansers are equally effective.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
• Try to avoid casually touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing, with others who are ill.
• If you become ill, limit your contact with others to keep from exposing them.
• For more flu prevention tips and information about coping with the flu,
please visit:

Remember, if you become ill, it is important to not attend classes or public events until you are well again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend remaining in your residence hall or at home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have fever (without the use of medications that reduce fever, like Motrin or Tylenol).

If you have questions feel free to contact us at (212) 854-2284 (staff is available 24/7) or you may contact me directly at (212) 854-3187.

Thank you,

Samuel L. Seward, Jr., MD, FAAP
Associate Vice President and Medical Director
Columbia Health