Under the influenza

With the nation facing the worst influenza epidemic in years, physicians are urging people to get the flu shot to protect themselves and others.

“The flu vaccine is available here in the (University) Health Center and the charge is $25,” said Floyd Robinson, assistant vice president for Student Affairs/Health and Wellness. “It is not too late to be vaccinated.”

“It’s important to remember that it takes at least two weeks to build up immunity to the flu after receiving the vaccine.”

According to Robinson, there is no excuse not to get the vaccination.

“The vaccine is an inactive virus, so there is no chance of contracting the flu from the vaccine,” Robinson said.

UH has not confirmed any cases of the flu, but the Health Center has treated multiple patients for upper-respiratory infection.

“We utilize the influenza rapid test for confirmation, as issued by the city health department,” Robinson said.

Health Center chief nurse Jennifer Nguyen has simple advice for students worried about the flu.

“We follow all the good suggestions given to us by our mothers,” Nguyen said. “Eat healthy, get plenty of rest, drink fluids and contain your coughs and sneezes.”

More important, Nguyen cautions, is regular hand washing.

“When washing hands, wash with warm water and soap for the duration of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ one time. This will give adequate time to kill most germs,” Nguyen said.

Hand washing is important to business junior Joshua Perez, yet he still fell ill. He suggests additional measures for keeping healthy.

“Just cover up and take Alka-Seltzer,” Perez said. “I would take that before class to keep healthy.”

According to Perez, you should avoid friends and family if you contract the flu.

“I just didn’t see my friends for a week,” Perez said.

While Perez knows he should get the vaccine, he probably will not.

“It’s not a thing that I wake up and think ‘Hey, I should get a flu shot.’”

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