By Emily Hernandez:
Colder temperatures are approaching, meaning flu season is on its way as well. Typically beginning in October for the United States and peaking throughout December to February, the flu season is an annually recurring time period characterized by prevalent outbreaks of influenza. The season occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.
With flu season nearing, people often wonder if they should be vaccinated to protect themselves against the illness.
“I don’t get flu shots because not only am I scared of them but I think they could potentially disable me. I have heard stories and watched videos showing the negative effects of the flu shot and I don’t like it,” Jaxon Keller, a biology major, said.
Health officials often push for more people to get the influenza vaccine for protection against the illness. They also encourage people to practice preventive behaviors such as frequent hand-washing, avoiding contact with those who are sick, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active and eating nutritious foods.
“I do recommend flu shots for high risk individuals such as the elderly, children, individuals with chronic health conditions and health care providers. It is also mandatory for health care providers,” said Jan Cannon, nursing professor at AC.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, college students are more likely to catch the flu because of close living quarters, shared restrooms and the many social activities.
Many college students will still attend class even while sick since missing class can impact a student’s grade.
“Sometimes I go to class sick, but it just depends on what I am sick with, how I feel and if I am contagious. I hate missing class because I never know if the lecture I’m missing is important so even when I don’t feel well I try to tough it out for class,” Carson West, a general studies major, said.
For more information about flu prevention and side effects, consult with your doctor.