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  • Genelle Thompson

Open flu season

The time to contract seasonal influenza, also known as the flu, is here. Typically, the flu season is from September to February, but can last until May. One major recommendation for the prevention of the flu is the annual flu shot.

Last year, the flu virus was a big problem on campus. Due to this virus, many students, faculty and staff were forced to miss classes. When school officials began noticing the trends in illness of the people coming to health services, they posted flyers in bathrooms, posters on walls and even sent emails to the student body about how to better prevent the spreading of germs.

The results of a poll posted on The Chanticleer’s Twitter showed that most people will opt out of getting a flu shot this year.

Some people say that they just don’t like shots, while others argue that the vaccine’s side effects are worse than contracting the illness.

However, many of the ideas that people base their ideas off are false, according to health experts.

The truth is that there are many strains of the flu which change year to year, therefore the flu shot given out one year is different than the one given the prior year. Medical experts do that to accommodate the change in strain or type.

“The flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop and provide protection against the infection…,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “These antibodies take about two weeks to develop in the body.”

CDC statistics stated that “Since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations ranged from 140,000-710,000 with deaths estimated to have ranged from 12,000-56,000.”

The CDC said if a person who has been vaccinated does get the flu, their symptoms will be milder. Also, getting the vaccines reduce the risk of being hospitalized over the illness.

Physician Dr. Fady Grace M.D. of Internal Medicine, is in favor of students getting vaccinated and believes getting the flu while in school would be a huge setback.

“Being in college is already tough," said Grace. "If a student catches the flu, they will be put back at least 1-2 weeks due to symptoms such as fever and body ache. That is a big shock to a schedule.”

Grace warns those who choose not to get vaccinated for the flu take appropriate precautions, such as washing hands frequently, being careful around those who are sick and getting evaluated if beginning to feel sick.

The flu vaccine is administered in many locations, including Student Health Services, CVS, Costco and almost any place with a pharmacy.

Student Health Services will have a flu shot clinic starting this week.

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