Flu season is especially bad this year

Sean Dunn, Staff Writer

It’s about that time of year again when illnesses begin to spread. Sniffles, coughs, and sneezes can be heard all around campus. In an effort to stop the spread of sickness, Wayne State College offers the flu shot annually to students, free of charge. Flu shots provided by Wayne State were available last semester on Oct. 26 in the Frey Conference Suite.

According to a report done by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska is at a widespread level of influenza cases. Of 3,552 people tested for the flu, 858 people, around 24 percent, tested positive for having the flu. Twenty-seven flu outbreaks have been reported across Nebraska, along with 12 people dying from having the flu, and 414 people being hospitalized for flu associated difficulties. The time period of this study started in October 2017 and ended on Jan. 6.

“We give 200 flu shots a year,” said Regina Korth, on-campus nurse. “The flu shot doesn’t prevent you from getting influenza, it hopefully will help you if you get influenza so your symptoms aren’t as harsh, and your symptoms won’t last as long.”

The nurses encourage those who have questions about the flu — or any health related questions at all — to come in to the Student Health Center located in the Kanter Student Center to have their questions answered.

Several students were interviewed about the flu and the flu shots. Thirteen of the fifteen students interviewed did not get the flu shot. A large portion of those students who didn’t receive flu shots had said they felt it wasn’t necessary to get one. Only three of the interviewed students had actually gotten the flu, one of whom had the flu shot. Most students who didn’t get their flu shot said they decided it wasn’t necessary to get one, a few claiming that it was actually more dangerous to get their flu shot than it was to not get one. Nearly half of the students had recalled someone they knew who attended Wayne State who recently had the flu.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get the shot.

If the shot is unavailable or not offered, other ways to protect yourself are by avoiding close contact with others who are sick, refraining from travel when you’re sick, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands, and practicing other healthy habits, such as getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of fluids.