Q: What is a flu shot and why should I get one this year?
A: The flu is caused by various influenza viruses and is a highly contagious respiratory illness. Some symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees or more, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fatigue, and a cough and/or sore throat. Some steps you can take to avoid contracting an influenza virus are:
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Do not share utensils, phones, pens, etc. (Even drinking games can spread respiratory infection!)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands
Flu vaccines prevent flu-related doctor visits and reduce the chance of contracting flu illnesses. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only injectable flu shots are recommended this year due to concerns about the nasal spray vaccine’s effectiveness. Getting the flu vaccine not only helps you, but it helps those around you as well!
This October, per usual, SHAPE will be handing out flu packets with information and other supplies to get you through the season. Additionally, know that if you aren’t able to get your flu shot at home over break, there will be Flu clinics held on campus on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and on Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in Hogan. All you need to do is bring your insurance card (you can check the Health Services website to see what insurances are covered). Watch for emails regarding both events to see how you can participate, and remember it’s “worth a shot!”