Flu shots keepstudents wellfor the winter



    Waking up in the morning to a throbbing head, aching muscles, a sore throat, chills and a fever makes you want to crawl back in bed and go to sleep. But having the flu doesn’t change the fact that your English 315 paper is due and you have to take a biology exam.

    According to the Kids Health Organization, the easiest way to avoid the flu this year is to avoid crowds during the flu season and to get plenty of rest. In addition, modern science has provided the public with a realistic option to the misery and suffering associated with this common illness — the flu shot.

    Because of influenza, more commonly known as the flu, students miss an average of three school days per year. According to the Doctor’s Guide to Medicine, symptoms can persist anywhere from five to 14 days. To a student, missing three days of school can be significant.

    Before she started getting the injection, Orem resident Cindy Schauerhammer suffered from severe bouts with the flu.

    “Since I began getting the shot, I haven’t had a problem with getting the flu,” Schauerhammer said. “I live by getting a flu shot every year.”

    Flu season officially begins the first part of December and lasts through February. After receiving the vaccine, it takes two weeks to build up an antibody response after receiving the vaccine. It is recommended that patients receive the flu shot by the end of November, said a McDonald Health Center press release.

    Flu shots are recommended for people who suffer from chronic illnesses, people over the age of 65, medical personnel and people who just don’t want to contract the flu, said the Kids Health Organization.

    People who are allergic to eggs or have suffered from severe reactions to flu shots in the past are not recommended to get the injection, said Dr. Gus Hoffman of the McDonald Health Center said.

    The flu shot is 80 to 85 percent effective, but “even if an immunized person catches the flu, symptoms will be fewer and milder — assuming the immunization was for the type which was predicted,” said the Kids Health Organization.

    Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are recommended to treat flu aches and pains, but aspirin should not be administered because of its association with Reye’s Syndrome.

    Mild side effects of the flu shot may include low-grade temperature and soreness where the shot was administered, but they should only last a couple of days, Hoffman said.

    Matt Bennett/Daily Universe

    THIS WON’T HURT A BIT: Heather Barson, a medical assistant at the McDonald Health Center, gives a flu shot to Adam Richards, a sophomore from Seattle majoring in electrical engineering. Barson gives about 30 flu shots a day. Flu shots cost $5 at the Health Center and require an appointment

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