Washing your hands won’t cut it: Get your flu shot Tuesday, Sep 22 2020 

By Catherine Brown —

Around this time last year, The Louisville Cardinal published an article persuading students to get their flu shots. Global health standards have changed since then. It’s time to get your flu shot.

The University of Louisville will provide free flu shots to students, faculty and staff starting Sept. 21 on the Health Science Campus. On Sept. 28, free flu shots will be available on Belknap Campus in SAC W116-117. 

Students might be surprised to hear that the university is not mandating flu shots the way they have with COVID-19 tests. U of L Director of Communications John Karman said flu shots are still highly recommended for students, faculty and staff.

According to the Center for Disease Control, vaccines produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. The immune system often develops sickness-like symptoms such as a fever after receiving a vaccine, but these symptoms are normal and help the body to develop immunity. After these symptoms disappear, the body will remember how to fight that disease in the future should a patient get infected. Those infected shortly before or after the time of the vaccination might still develop the disease as the body has not had enough time to create these memory cells.

But the coronavirus is not the same as the influenza virus or any strain of it. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are still susceptible to the flu. 

U of L provides free flu and cold self-care kits to students. These kits can be found at Campus Health Medical Services, the Health Promotion office, and at designated flu-shot stations.

Even U of L students agree that you need to get your flu shot.  “Flu shots are necessary to get because it’s best to be protected against the disease so you won’t have a chance of getting the virus,” said Destiny Smith, a pre-nursing student.

This year, Smith said because of COVID-19 it is even more important to get a flu shot.

”Students should get the flu shot again because the symptoms are very similar to COVID,” she said. “Getting a flu shot is something that may help prevent the spread of COVID.”

Doctors aren’t just suggesting flu shots for fun. People often think they won’t catch a disease because of their good hygienic habits or a strong immune system, but these things aren’t always enough to protect you. Bacteria and viral infections are everywhere and we carry more of these in our bodies than we assume.

The CDC estimates that a range of about 12,000 to 79,000 flu-related deaths occur every year. COVID-19 deaths total at nearly 200,000 in the United States.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, immunologist expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed concerns that the fall season will help spread the virus. 

“As we get into the fall and do more indoor things, we’re likely to see upticks in COVID-19,” said Fauci. He also advised wearing masks and social distancing, which can help control the spread of the flu.

Nobody wants to shake hands with you when you’re carrying harmful bacteria. Simple hand washing isn’t going to make the flu virus go away. Wear a mask and stay home when you can. Nobody wants to catch your virus.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Washing your hands won’t cut it: Get your flu shot appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

How to avoid the flu and what to do if you get it Monday, Feb 17 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

It is flu season again. There are many ways to avoid getting the flu, but if you happen to draw the short straw, don’t panic.

What To Do If You Get Sick

The first thing to do if you end up with the flu is to stay home and avoid contact with others, except medical care, according to the University of Louisville Campus Health.

Resting, drinking lots of fluids (stay away from caffeine and alcohol, though), and using fever reducing medicine is suggested as well.

It is also recommended that those infected with the flu wear a face mask if they need to go out in public. This helps stop the spreading of the flu.

What Not To Do

U of L Campus Health says that people infected with the flu should not go to the emergency room unless their symptoms are more severe. “In most cases, you don’t need to see a medical provider when you have a cold or the flu,” U of L Health website said.

Anyone infected with the flu should avoid contact with others. This can be tricky for college students living in dorms since they can be such close quarters.

U of L Health’s advice for students in this situation is to avoid contact with the sick roommates belongings and wash your hands.

How To Prevent Getting the Flu

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent getting the flu says U of L Health. They also say that eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep plays a major role in boosting your immune system to fight off the flu.

U of L Campus Health also says to get a flu shot each year before flu season begins. And their website dispels the myth that getting a flu shot gives you the flu. “The flu shot contains dead viruses. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot or nose spray vaccine,” says its website.

U of L students can get a free flu shot at any of these locations:

  • Campus Health Medical Services.
  • Health Promotion Office.
  • Flu Shot Stations.

More information regarding the flu can be found at louisville.edu/campushealth.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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