Flu Season Awareness
The weather has turned cold and flu season is now upon us. Flu season is when influenza activity increases and flu viruses are most common. In the United States, flu season is typically during the fall and winter months, with flu activity beginning to increase in October and November and peaking between December and February.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the United States, flu has resulted in between 9.3 million and 49 million illnesses each year since 2010. A flu vaccination is the primary and most effective way to prevent seasonal flu. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to be effective and protective, as the antibodies that protect against the flu are developing in the body. The best time to get a flu vaccine is before the flu begins spreading in your community, usually before the end of October. However, getting vaccinated after October can still be beneficial. The CDC recommends that flu vaccinations continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating. It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year, as not only does the body’s immunity to influenza viruses decline over time, but also because influenza viruses can change from season to season. Flu vaccines are usually offered by doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care clinics and pharmacies, to name a few. The Georgia State University Health Clinic offers seasonal flu vaccines to students at all three Student Health Clinic locations (Atlanta, Clarkston, and Dunwoody campuses) for $15. These flu vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary) every Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM.
Along with getting a flu vaccine, students can take every day preventative actions to avoid getting sick, like washing hands to reduce the spread of germs, avoiding touching one’s nose, mouth, and eyes and staying away from sick people. If you do get sick, then stay home from school or work to avoid spreading the virus to others. Most people who become infected with the flu have mild illness that does not require medical attention or antiviral drugs and will get better within a few days to less than two weeks. If you are very sick or concerned about your illness, however, you can contact your health care provider or visit the Georgia State University Health Clinic.