Have you gotten your flu shot? If not, maybe you should reconsider.
As many of us know, today’s flu is the worst that America has seen since 1918.
According to CNN, there have been 11,965 lab-confirmed flu-related hospitalizations from Oct. 1 to Jan. 20.
According to the News & Observer, 95 people and counting have died from the flu or flu related symptoms (pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infections, as well as exacerbations of asthma and congestive heart disease) in North Carolina, including the 10 deaths last week.
“Public health officials continue to urge the public to get vaccinated, even though this year’s vaccine is less effective than in previous years. Though the shot may only help one out of every three people who get it, officials say that vaccinations can still reduce the spread of flu and alleviate symptoms for those infected,” states the News and Observer.
What You Need To Know
Every year and with every flu, there are many different strains of the virus that flare up.
The flu, when it is at its worst, tends to be more severe for older adults and young children, due to their immune systems.
The virus started earlier than usual. In the past, the flu has started and peaked in January; however, the current flu virus began all the way back in November — the part of the year that is popular with family and friend gatherings.
“I wash my hands at every chance I get!,” says Ryan McCann, senior at Wake Tech Community College.
“Being around so many people at school and at work makes me very nervous about getting the flu, so I am trying to do everything I can to make sure I don’t.”
The flu starts to dissipate when the weather starts to heat up. And with an estimated six more weeks of winter, it may be a while longer till we see the end of this virus.
“But just a warning: If you already got the flu this year, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to not get it again before the season is over,” Kristen Nordlund, press officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned when speaking to The Cut. “You can get the flu twice in one season because you can get a different strain.”
Tips To Prepare And Prevent
- Get the FLU SHOT! Even though this flu shot is not standing up against this flu virus strain, it is stated that if you have the flu vaccine and do contract the flu, it will not be AS severe as if you hadn’t.
- Wash your hands whenever possible!
- After touching anything, don’t put your hands and/or fingers near your face – especially your mouth and nose.
- Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer is a MUST. These can be portable, so that you can clean your hands at any time.
- Be careful when coming into too close of contact with people – avoid shaking hands, sharing drinks and food whenever possible. This can reduce your risk of contracting the flu.
Catching The Flu
If you DO start to feel sick and get similar symptoms, see a doctor immediately. If you catch the flu in the beginning, chances are you will not feel as bad AND it won’t last as long.
If you live on campus, go visit our friendly physicians and nurses in the Joyner House. They are always there to help and answer any questions you may have.
If you live on campus, keep your distance from peers. Living in tight quarters such as dorm rooms, it is important to make others aware if you are sick.