Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor
With flu season approaching, students are encouraged to get their flu shots before the flu hits campus. The Ladd Center offered flu shots for free to students and at a reduced cost to faculty last week.
While the flu season hasn’t started yet, and it’s hard to predict what the season will look like, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts a heavy flu season. The virus this year is different from last year. The CDC described that it is not unusual to see new strains of the virus each year. The season usually starts in October, peaks between January and February, and starts to slow down by May.
Emma Cordle, director of the Health and Wellness Center, described how previous years have been difficult, and she doesn’t know what to expect with the new season.
“Last year, I felt like we were seeing 10 to 20 students a day, and that was all before Thanksgiving,” Cordle said. “Usually we don’t see the flu really bad until after Christmastime.”
Cordle urged all students to get a flu shot, especially as college students. They are more susceptible to contracting the flu because they are all living together in small spaces and sharing germs. Once a student contracts the flu, he or she is still contagious for about five to seven days after showing symptoms. According to Cordle, roommates are more likely to receive the flu after sharing a space.
“The flu is airborne; it’s droplets that you can breathe in from the air,” Cordle said.
While the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself against the flu, there are other options that help with flu prevention.
“The best thing you can do is wash your hands and have good hand hygiene,” Cordle said.
Just by taking care of themselves, getting enough sleep, exercising and practicing good nutrition, students can really be prepared for the flu season and keep themselves protected against the virus.
So far Cordle said that many students and faculty have come in to get their flu shots.
Although the Health and Wellness Center isn’t offering anymore shots this year, there are still other ways to get your flu shot. Many local clinics are offering flu shots either for free or at reduced prices to students. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/flu-finder-widget.html to find a clinic near you.