You’re thinking that it’s February and if you haven’t gotten the flu by now, you won’t get it. However, peak flu season is still ahead though the push for the flu shot might seem to have slowed.
“Traditionally, we see the most cases December through March, with February and March being the peak months,” said Cindy Schultz, the associate director of health care at UNK
Schultz said that the flu can knock you out of commission for a week or more. That means no class and loads of makeup work. The symptoms to be aware of include: high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, muscle aches, sore throat, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. Sounds great, right? More than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is important to get a flu vaccine every year, because the virus mutates. CDC says that there is a new and very different flu virus spreading worldwide called novel, or new H1N1 flu. This virus may cause more illness and more severe illness than usual.
For $20, you can go to student health, fill out a form and be vaccinated. Places like Walmart and Walgreens cost more, and don’t have the convenience of being right on campus. Walk in hours for student health are 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Wednesday; and 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Thursday.
In addition to getting vaccinated, CDC recommends taking everyday preventative actions. These include: covering you nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough, washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with sick people. If you become sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
For more information about the flu vaccine, you can go to www.flu.gov or contact Cindy Schultz in student health at 865-8218 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even find UNK counseling and health care on Facebook, where you can find interesting and up-to-date information about health issues that affect you.