Influenza, a virus better known as the flu, has reached epidemic status in Ga. and VSU is doing what it can to help keep students from getting infected with the virus.
VSU students are able to go to the Student Health Center to receive a flu vaccination by appointment. The cost of the vaccination is $10 for students and can be paid by check, cash, flex or online. Students also need to remember to bring their VSU ID.
Lynette Lewis, Asst. Director and Administrator at the Student Health Center, encourages students to call or come by the health center to schedule an appointment.
The flu vaccine is a preventive measure. It is used to prevent a person from contracting the flu and to prevent the case of the flu, if contracted, to not become as intense.
According to the CDC, flu season occurs throughout the winter months. The Georgia Department of Public Health has released a statement to let Georgians know that the state is being hit harder this season than it has been in the past decade.
“We are getting reports of more severe flu effects in neighboring states, including the number of deaths. Peak flu season does not happen until late January or early February so we may not have seen the worst yet,” said Patrick O’Neal, M.D., director of the Division of Health Protection of the Georgia Department of Public Health, in a press release on Friday.
“The flu is a virus and like expected, it is constantly mutating,” Chase Alexander, a senior nursing student, said.
It is a good idea to be on lookout for the symptoms of the flu. The symptoms of the flu are much like the common cold. However, the symptoms are intensified greatly.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the symptoms of the flu are fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body or muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and dry cough. Vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms, but they are much more common in children than adults. It is also important to note that not all cases of the flu will be accompanied by a fever.
The CDC recommends that you help protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick. It is recommended that everyone stay away from sick people and that anyone that may be infected stay home. You should wash your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer often.
Anyone that is infected should be kept in a separate room and only be visited by a caregiver. The rooms that the infected person is in should be cleaned daily, according to the CDC.
If a student feels that he or she may be infected with the virus he or she should visit the Student Health Center or another local health care provider.
More information on influenza and the flu vaccine is available at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website solely devoted to the flu at http://cdc.gov/flu/.