Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Managing Editor
Flu season is underway throughout January and February, and Georgia has already experienced a high number of cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 674 reported influenza hospitalizations and five deaths in the Metro-Atlanta area since Sept. 30; of these cases, 102 of them occurred in just the first week of January. These numbers place Georgia as one of the highest-risk states for flu-like diseases (CDC).
While the first roll out of flu vaccinations on campus were offered in the early fall, Emma Cordle, a nurse practitioner at the Health and Wellness Center, wanted to continue this opportunity to the Berry community this winter. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, last year’s flu season extended through April, and this season is on the same track.
“It’s never too late to get a flu shot, as long as we are still seeing active flu,” Cordle said.
According to Cordle, the Health and Wellness Center has not had any positive flu tests so far, but she predicted more are on the horizon. Cordle said that infected persons will be contagious for a few days before symptoms manifest, and, in the close quarters in which students live in, many of the living spaces will have already been contaminated.
Cordle stressed the importance to still get the vaccine while it is available. While it is possible to contract the flu after being vaccinated, symptoms and length of the infection will be less severe.
Aside from the vaccination, proper hand-washing techniques are the best way to prevent the flu, along with proper exercise and nutrition, Cordle said. The CDC also recommends covering coughs, avoiding hand contact to the face and frequently disinfecting
The Health and Wellness Center has around 20 vaccinations still left for any student or faculty member. They will host walk-in clinics to provide this service, and students will continue to be alerted of future dates via email.