The Power to Stop the Flu, Starts with You!

 

Kashmoné Hamilton, MPH
Health Educator, Health Promotion Department

 

rec-woman-coughing-Darkcloud-isp-1-30-12-mdAre you hearing more coughing and sneezing in the classroom this semester? If you are, don’t be surprised. The flu virus has been pretty sneaky this season. As of late December, all national key flu indicators are elevated and about half of the country is experiencing high flu activity! Flu activity is expected to continue into the coming weeks, with increases occurring especially in those states that have not yet had significant activity. With this in mind, it is importance to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from the flu. Not sure how? Here are some recommendations provided by Student Health Services…..

  1. Get the Flu Vaccine!
    • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends influenza (“flu”) immunization for all individuals 6 months of age or older. The flu vaccine has been shown to prevent illness in 70-90% of healthy people under age 65. To build adequate immunity, the CDC suggests vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available, which is now!

Don’t think the flu shot is worth it?

  • Some of you have noticed that the vaccine hasn’t been as effective in protecting us from the flu as it has in recent years – but don’t get discouraged. The flu vaccine can still reduce your risks and lessen the severity of the flu symptoms. This year, there has been a 23% estimated effectiveness of this year’s vaccine. “A CDC modeling study suggests that a vaccine with only 10% effectiveness in older adults still could prevent about 13,000 flu-related hospitalizations in that age- group in a moderately severe season.” While this may not directly impact our usual patients, if we can reduce flu infections in all age groups, there will be less transmission to those at the highest risk.

Okay, but where can I get the flu shot?

  • Student Health Services provides flu vaccines to students for a low cost. Seasonal flu vaccine injections are available to currently enrolledSDSU students, faculty and staff for $15 at Student Health Services in Calpulli  Vaccinations are given Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, from 8:45 – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 4:45 pm. You can sign up and make your appointment at HealtheConnection at healtheconnect.sdsu.edu
  1. Take Everyday Preventive Actions to Stop the Spread of Germs:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol based cleanser for at least 20 seconds
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. Studies have shown that human influenza viruses generally can survive on surfaces between 2 and 8 hours! Influenza viruses can be destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors(iodine-based antiseptics) and alcohols are effective against influenza viruses if used in proper concentrations for a sufficient length of time.
  1. Know When to See the Doctor!rbk-sick-men-man-visiting-doctor-de

Are you already sick? We hope you feel better soon! But until, then make sure you know when to see a doctor.

  • The flu doesn’t always mean you have to go to the doctor. If you do feel cold or flu symptoms, please follow the flu and cold treatment guide to determine if medical attention is needed. Avoiding unnecessary doctor visits saves you money, time, and help prevent spreading the flu to others, or even contracting a new strain yourself!

 

For more credible Information on the flu, please visit the flowing resources….

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm

Health Update for the SDSU community: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthupdates.aspx

Check out our new website: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthpromotion/

Good luck and stay flu free!

 

 

 

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