Flu Shot Imperative to Winter Health

Daniella Devivo, Reporter

With flu season here, it’s time for everyone to build up the cour- age to get to a doctor or pharmacy for a flu shot.

According to staff nurse Anita Yurek, the yearly flu shot can prevent the influenza virus also known as the flu.

“The vaccine is available here for the students for $12, and it is not a live virus. So if you were to get the shot here, you wouldn’t get any symptoms,” said Yurek.

Yurek said the flu can result in severe symptoms far beyond those associated with the common cold. One could experience fever, severe body aches, chills or moderate to severe fatigue. Symptoms develop rapidly.

“Monday I didn’t feel well; Tuesday I feel worse, and Wednesday, etc. No, it’s not like that. It hits you very hard and very suddenly,” said Yurek.

Most people who get the flu might recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but in some cases it could lead to life-threatening consequences.

According to Geisinger Heath Plans, millions of people, about 5% to 20% of U.S. residents, will get the flu every year, and more than 200,000 people have to be admitted to the hospital due to influenza.

Tamara Bradley, a senior nursing major, believes getting the vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the virus. Students who work in a hospital and attend clinical classes, are strongly encouraged to get the shot. Those who don’t will be asked to wear a mask when they are doing any kind of patient care.

“I would definitely recommend the flu shot to everyone,” said Bradley.

Bradley learned about flu symptoms in one of many nursing classes, and she knows how easily the virus can spread, especially in close living spaces like dorms. If one of her roommates shows signs of the virus she takes precautions, which include using Lysol wipes on commonly touched or shared items like door handles or the remote control.

“I take these precautions because I can’t risk getting sick. Getting sick for me would not allow me to go to clinical, and I would have to attend the make-up days at the end of the semester, which would be a pain.”

The influenza virus could lead to hospitalization, and people die every year from the virus.

“When you get it, it’s so severe. You won’t be able to go to class. You won’t be able to do your as- signments. You can’t do a thing,” said Yurek.

Flu season lasts from November to as late as May, and the peak months are hose in between. Students have been reporting to the Health Center on campus with very bad colds, strep throat and symptoms of the flu.

“With the flu shot, you most likely won’t get it,” said Yurek.

According to Yurek, the nursing station looks at the person’s symptoms and then offers treatment of Tama flu, and anti-viral medication. She said, it’s important to begin treatment right away because the flu is contagious and it can spread very rapidly through the air and on surfaces.

It is very important to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth, according to Yurek.

“Your eyes, nose and mouth are the main portals of injury,” said Yurek.

According to Yurek, a nasal swab can be used to determine if one has the virus. The nursing station has given 70 to 80 shots so far, and there are about 40 shots left – and they come at a good price.

“It is only $12, and it will help you in the long run,” said Yurek.

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