Published: Oct. 24, 2008

The University of Colorado at Boulder will hold a two-day flu and meningitis immunization clinic for students on Oct. 30-31 in the University Memorial Center, room 235.

The clinic will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Flu shots are $25 and meningitis shots are $125. There is no cost for students enrolled in the Student Gold Health Insurance Plan.

Sandra Sonoda, infection control coordinator at CU's Wardenburg Health Center, said fighting influenza with a simple shot now is a lot easier -- and safer -- than dealing with it once illness sets in.

"A lot of people think the flu is like the stomach flu," said Sonoda. "It's actually a respiratory infection. You get rip-roaring sick and can have a fever as high as 104 degrees. It can really put you out."

Influenza spreads easily on a college campus because it can be spread through the air and by contact with things or other people, according to Sonoda.

"People can catch the flu by coming in contact with a contaminated surface, and they can be contagious before they start feeling ill," said Sonoda. "When there are a lot of people in close settings, immunization is very important."

CU-Boulder's flu cases constitute about 10 percent of those reported annually in Boulder County, Sonoda said.

The meningitis vaccine is part of CU's regular immunization regimen and Sonoda encourages all students to get the vaccination.

"It's not a terribly common disease, but if you get meningitis it can be very harmful and even cause death," she said.

The vaccine offered by CU offers protection against four of the five strains of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, Sonoda said. There have been five reported cases of bacterial meningitis or meningococcemia caused by N. meningitidis at the university since 2000.