Flu season off to early start
Vaccines still available on campus
DENVER and AURORA, Colo. (Dec. 6, 2012) – It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 2-8, 2012) and everyone is encouraged to get their flu shots now, before the holiday season.
Beth Strimpel, BSN, MA, Occupational Health Clinic manager, Environmental Health and Safety reminds us all that when you get the vaccine, it takes up to two weeks to develop full immunity. “If you get your vaccine now, you’ll be covered in time for the holiday season and travel time,” Strimpel said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning persons that this flu season is off to an early start, and could be a severe one. There are higher rates of flu being reported in some southern states including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
The current vaccine strains (two type A influenzas and one type B) are matched well to the circulating virus strains. The CDC estimates that more than one-third of Americans already have been vaccinated.
People at a higher risk for flu complications (such as pneumonia or hospitalization) are encouraged to seek and obtain the vaccine. Those at a higher risk are asthmatics, diabetics, persons with heart disease and stroke history, pregnant women, those 65 and older, and children under than 2 years of age. Caretakers of infants younger than 6 months are highly encouraged to get a flu shot, as babies this age are too young to get vaccinated.
Strimpel said there are antiviral medications available if you do come down with flu like symptoms, and they work best if taken at the first signs of flu symptoms. They are available by prescription only. Common symptoms of influenza include high fever (>101.8), body chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headache and fatigue. An individual with the flu is contagious one day before symptoms start and can remain contagious 5-7 days after becoming ill.
“Remember to wash your hands well and often, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough, be physically active to decrease your stress levels, and get a flu shot,” emphasizes Strimpel.
The Occupational Health Clinic at the Anschutz Medical Campus already has administered more than 370 flu vaccines this season. “But we still have flu vaccines available, folks just need to make an appointment. They are $20 cash or check only.” To make an appointment on the Anschutz Medical Campus, call 303-724-0345. The Occupational Health Clinic is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Building 401 at 1784 Racine Street, second floor.
For students, faculty and staff on the Denver Campus, downtown with Auraria
Please contact the Auraria Health Center for availability 303-556-2525