By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
It’s that time of year again, and flu season is around the corner. In preparation for flu season, Xavier’s McGrath Health and Wellness Center is giving flu shots and flu mists to students effective Sept. 30. The flu shots will cost $25 and are recommended for anyone who has health problems such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease. Anyone who is considered healthy can pay $30 to receive the flu mist instead. This charge will be filed with the student’s bursar account and a statement will be given to file with the student’s insurance.
“Students with certain health problems such as asthma or pregnancy should get a flu shot as soon as possible,” associate director of Health Services Mary Rosenfeldt said.
The first flu clinics will offer flu shots on Sept. 30 and Oct. 20 at the Health Center, and Oct. 5 at GSC in conjunction with the student-led Health and Wellness Fair. To access the clinics, students can go to McGrath’s website or call the center to make an appointment.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease that spreads around the U.S. every winter, usually between October and May. The flu is caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms come on suddenly and may last several days. They can include any combination of the following: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose.
“Flu vaccination is the single most effective way to protect you from the flu,” Rosenfeldt said. “While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.”
People with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. The virus is spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A person might also obtain the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.
“People should begin getting vaccinated soon after the flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins,” Rosenfeldt said.
Students should stay away from sick people, stay home if sick and wash their hands often with soap and water. Frequently touched surfaces should also be cleaned and disinfected in their homes, work environments and classrooms during this time of year.
“Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people,” Rosenfeldt said.
For more information on the flu or flu vaccination, students can contact the McGrath Health Center at 513-745-3023 or view their web page at http://www.xavier. edu/health-wellness.
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