Reading Time: 2 minutes Health as a college student is important, especially during flu season.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Center for Disease Control has upgraded seasonal influenza to epidemic status. In doing so, more vaccines are made available to the public. Getting vaccinated is important to you and the community. The less people spreading the virus, the less likely you are to contract it.

“This is a situation we are following very closely as a university,” said Chris Taylor, university spokesperson.

Influenza is a major concern to students who may be uninsured and financially unprepared for a large medical bill due. The 60% effectiveness of the shot should be enough motivation to pay the small fee. Some people still worry about the risks involved from flu shot, but hopefully a small dose of education can go a long way.

Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 9.50.17 AMVaccinations do not contain live strains of any of the three influenza viruses likely to be spreading this season. The shot contains the antigens in a safe form that program your immune system to replicate antibodies to recognize and fight the strains of influenza targeted in the serum this year. The side effects you may have had in previous years are due to an accelerated energy-sapping process that strengthening your immune system.

There are numerous reasons to stay in bed and skip that 8:00 a.m. class. Hangovers, endless freezing temperatures and disdain for lectures shouldn’t keep the diligent student from attending. Illness however, respects no one. Coughing, sneezing and excessive fluid loss make even the most mundane tasks nearly impossible. Missing your History of Art class is the least of your concerns.

“Dr. So-and-so” may have a rough attendance policy that up until now, you’ve complied with perfectly. Your grade is not as important as your health. So after you call your girlfriend, boyfriend, mother or home teachers to bring you some soup, email your teacher. Instructors have paid sick days. Students, many of whom work jobs themselves while attending school, often don’t have paid sick days. There is no reason anyone should be punished for what may beis one of the worst flu seasons in the past few decades.

“When you are sick, stay home. Stay in touch with your professors. If students do feel sick, visit the Student Health Center or visit your doctor,” Taylor said.

There are many ways to treat flu-like symptoms, Don’t avoid going in for a visit if your symptoms don’t improve. Rest and fluids are two of the most important parts of recovery when you’re sick. Prevention is no longer the main concern for you, but don’t forget about for your fellow students. Make sure to use common preventative measures such as hand washing and limiting the amount of surfaces you touch, including your face.

“The Student Health Center still has flu shots available,” Taylor said.

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