Influenza is still taking a toll across America. Students on campus have access to affordable health care and prevention on campus, and most have been taking advantage of it. The Student Health Center is available to all students with or without health insurance. Getting sick isn’t convenient, but staying healthy does not take much effort.
Last year, all 400 influenza vaccines were administered early in the flu season, and this year, they had the same amount, but there are only 10 remain- ing. The Student Health Center offers them without an appoint- ment for $10. This is the best price in town. For those that are concerned about contracting the virus from the vaccine, don’t; it is a dead virus. The process that creates the immunity activates a massive production of antibodies.
The Student Health Center can test for the flu if you think you have it. Although there have only been three students with confirmed cases this year, many more have probably been diagnosed with the flu by their primary care physicians.
Some students have elected to not be tested, but it is important for you and for others. Pregnant women who are pregnant, the elderly and small children are especially susceptible to hospi- talization if they contract the influenza virus.
“It’s like Roto-Rooting the nose,” said Esme Anderson, Student Health Services physician assistant.
Despite an uncomfortable test, knowing if you have contracted the flu is an important step in the recovery process. The treatment of a bad cold is significantly different than the flu.
Doctors can help treat the symp- toms, but once you have it, passing it to friends, family members and complete strangers becomes a con- cern. Spreading the virus to others can be prevented by good hygiene which includes hand washing, coughing and sneezing barri- ers such (which are given out the health center) and minimal contact with your face and other surfaces.