The flu epidemic continues

By Victoria Boland
January 19, 2020

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay.
Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay.
graphic by Tristan Weatherly

The flu season is currently among us. If you are an individual who hasn’t gotten the flu shot, be aware you are putting yourself at risk to catch the flu virus. “The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 9.7 million flu illnesses, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths from the flu.” Researchers believe the peak of the flu season is yet to come in February.

The CDC states “The time from when a person is exposed and infected with flu to when symptoms begin is about 2 days, but can range from about 1 to 4 days.” Photo by Alexandr Litovchenko from Pixabay.

 

“The most common strains circulating thus far are A/H1N1 and B/Victoria. Both of those strains affect children and younger adults more so than they affect the elderly. That is of special concern on a college campus but also might be better news for the elderly who experience the greatest risk of hospitalization and death from influenza,” Susan Fitzgerald, director of student health services, said.  

The flu vaccine is suggested to be taken yearly around the fall season because it will help your body be immune to the vaccine. “Walgreens Pharmacy gets the supplies at the end of August and most people come in to receive the vaccine September through December,” Helen Jin.Oh, Aston Walgreens Pharmacy manager, said. 

Jin.Oh stated the earlier you get the flu shot the better because if you wait too long your body could catch the illness before it has time to build an immunity. This could explain why individuals get the flu shortly after receiving the vaccine. The vaccine takes two weeks to fully work.

A survey conducted with 41 random Cabrini University students asked individuals who had the flu or not this year. Out of 41 students who took the survey seven students had the flu this season and more are yet to come.

A survey conducted with 40 random Cabrini University students. 34 students said no and seven said yes to having the flu. Photo by Victoria Boland.

Schools can be a dangerous place since many individuals come to school not feeling well, which can lead to bacteria being spread. Students should take precautions like washing your hands, using alcohol-based sanitizer, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding crowds to better off your chances of staying healthy. 

Candace Berkheiser, senior elementary and special ed major, was a participant in the survey who fell ill with the flu this year. Berkheiser missed four days of classes due to the illness. Berkheiser took precautions to prevent the sickness but she, unfortunately, didn’t get her flu shot until after the flu virus passed into her system, “It was rough, my body just felt unbelievably sore because of it,” Berkheiser said.  

Jin.Oh stated the common symptoms to look out for distinguishing if your cold is developing into something bigger like the flu are coughing congestion, tiredness, body ache and fever. These symptoms are the main giveaways that you should see a doctor. 

The CDC advises students to stay home when you are sick to help avert transferring a cold. Germs spread by touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. To prevent germs the CDC suggests using an alcoholic hand sanitizer or bacterial wipes to aid in the process of preventing bacteria from staying on your hands.

Fitzgerald wants students to know that Health Services is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on the first floor of Founders Hall near Cavs Corner. Walk-ins are welcome all day.

“The flu vaccine is still available and it is not too late to get vaccinated,” Fitzgerald said.

Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or talks.” Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Victoria Boland

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