By Dylan Klim
In the first semester of 2018, students should realize the importance of getting their influenza vaccination, due to the influx of the cases with deadly effects.
The flu is a common viral infection that is spread very easily, but as the years turn, it has brought about increasing levels of concern. Usually, the flu can be nipped in the bud by a simple vaccine. If victims do have the illness, they can be treated with over-the-counter or prescribed anti-viral medicines.
“I am a strong advocate for the flu shot, and I feel everybody should be getting their immunizations,” said Paul Gormley, professor. “The flu spreads so easily. When individuals join the military, they have to get hundreds of shots [to prevent further infection].”
Pressing the issue of vaccination even further, the latest strain of influenza in 2018 has become an epidemic. Across campus, many students and professors are experiencing first-hand symptoms of the flu. For many, the reasoning behind why the flu has caused so many issues this time around is rather befuddling.
Less than half of the American population chose against receiving their flu shot, allowing the infection to spread even more easily. The flu virus has been so widespread that there are at least 50 cases of it in every state.
Across the country, there are different strains of influenza circulate each year. This year, influenza A (H3N2) is ubiquitous, but a separate strain (H1N1) has made an impact in America’s hospitals in the same way. Having so many different strains of the flu going around makes it harder for researchers to create a universal vaccination for all.
“The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year,” said Barbara Bach, university nurse. “The common thought is that if you protect the majority of people from getting sick, then the people that are not protected are by default safe because the virus is not circulating.”
More than in most years, it is crucial for students to receive a flu shot, as thirty children in the United States have already died from the influenza virus this year alone. On top of the vaccine, Bach has some helpful tips to maintain wellness in this time of significant stress on America’s immune systems.
“Stay hydrated, pursue good nutrition, rest significantly and use infection control practices if the flu comes out on top in the end,” said Bach. “For those still unvaccinated, students can get a shot for free at the Health Center.”
Individuals must realize how quickly the flu spreads. Especially on a small campus, students are vulnerable. Therefore, they should take it seriously and make it a necessity to get a flu shot. Not only can the flu shot prevent individuals from becoming sick, but it can also prevent any degree of circulation.