By: Asma Warrich
There are many health concerns that have become predictable over the years -- the flu isn’t one of them. Season after season, the flu virus mutates to avoid death. A new strain emerges and thus new vaccinations must be produced.
October is the starting point of the flu season while flu activity generally peaks in December and January. However, this flu season is seeing alarmingly high rates of flu incidence in young adults, earlier than the expected peak.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever/ chills
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
The influenza virus can be spread by droplets made when people who are infected cough, sneeze or talk. The virus can also be spread by touching surfaces or objects that have the flu virus on them and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. Because it is so easy to come in contact with the flu, precautions should be taken such as covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands on a regular basis.
The CDC recommends everyone from the age of 6 months and older to get vaccinated starting in October. These yearly vaccines are said to be the most important step in fighting the flu. Each vaccine holds three to four versions of the virus that research suggests would be most active this flu season. The flu vaccine administered by needle is an inactivated version of the virus while the nasal spray is a live, weakened version of the virus. Either way, the body will create antibodies to fight off the virus.
With half of the semester almost done, it’s important to stay healthy enough to finish the semester off well. While not all students want or have access to the vaccine, other preventative measures like covering you cough and washing your hands can go a long way.