By: Breanna Willis
Bellarmine Health Services recently campaigned to Bellarmine students to get the flu shot, and although more than 500 students got the shot, vaccinations remain.
Health Services has already seen two flu cases this semester, but the number of cases varies from season to season. Predictors of the flu are countries and states that get the flu first and how the flu moves throughout the world. This year, the flu has claimed two lives, including one person from Kentucky.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between six and seven million people had the flu during the 2018-2019 season and half of those people sought medical attention for their illness. Between 69,000 and 84,000 people were hospitalized from the flu during the 2018-2019 season.
Despite the previous season’s statistics, some people chose not to get the vaccination.
“I’ve never gotten it [flu]. I’ve never really gotten around to it, but I’ve never gotten sick. It seems unnecessary to me, like a shot for no reason,” student Emily Compton said.
However, health care professionals advise to get the flu shot as a precaution.
“I hear it’s going to be a rough season, [but] of course you can’t really predict that,” Alice Kimble, director of Health Services, said. “We will see what happens. We’re prepared for it. What we will do is we will open, like sometimes it gets really bad, we will open on a Saturday.”
If you have the following symptoms, seek medical care.
- Aching muscles
- Chills and sweats
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sore throat
Getting the shot, washing hands, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose or mouth and staying away from people who have symptoms are a few ways to avoid the flu. Strengthening the immune system, managing stress and getting enough sleep can also reduce the chances of getting the flu.
“Do everything you can to strengthen your immune system. That means manage your stress, sleep well, sleep well, sleep well. I cannot get that across enough,” Kimble said.
Students feeling sick can use Norton eCare, a “face-to-face online visit with a Norton eCare provider to treat common conditions,” according to the flyer advertising the eCare option. The service is free to Bellarmine students who show their university ID to the eCare provider. Students must enter a credit card to schedule appointments, but the card will not be charged as long as students show their school ID. Tamiflu, Relenza, Rapivab and Xofluza are the most prescribed medications to treat the flu according to the Mayo Clinic.