How to stay healthy this flu season


Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

As the winter creeps around, so does this year’s infectious flu, H3N2, which has caused more deaths on average than most other strains.

H3N2 has reached most of the U.S., sending citizens to hospitals and causing deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This season’s flu vaccine is 10 percent effective in Australia and 30 percent effective in the U.S. Don’t let this discourage you from considering this year’s flu shot, the vaccine still helps prevent the flu and lessens the severity of flu symptoms.

The CDC estimates that the flu vaccine prevented 40,000 deaths nationwide between 2005 and 2014.

If students have access to the vaccine they should consider it, said Jill Cannaday, Student Health Center Clinic administrator.

“Prevention is key,” Cannaday said. “I am a proponent of the flu vaccine for every year. Especially with a large campus, if (a) majority of the students get the vaccine, then we would be a healthier campus that will help the virus be less transferable to others.”

According to CNBC, researchers at FluGen are taking a unique approach to developing a universal flu vaccine. The vaccine, called RedeeFlu, would prevent the virus from replicating and causing illness.

The traditional vaccine helps the body develop antibodies that fight off infection, according to the CDC.

FluGen is conducting human trials in which half will be vaccinated and half will receive a placebo, and all participants will be infected with a strain of the flu.

In the meantime, students should take advantage of the resources offered to them on campus.

The Student Health Center has been offering free vaccines for students to help them prevent the flu, something that other CSU campuses don’t normally offer. The health center also offers “flu kits” that include items like a mask, thermometer, pocket tissues, hand sanitizer, pain tablets, tea bags, ramen and cough drops.

It’s also important to note that if you or someone you know gets stick, be sure to take plenty of time to rest and are fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school.

“The Health Center is here,” Cannaday said. “We can give you a flu vaccine in the fall or early winter. That way students won’t miss work, class, or get behind.”

Karen Limones can be reached at [email protected] or @limoneska on Twitter.