Beating the Odds: Flu Prevention Strategies

Flu shot vaccine. Image from clemson.edu

Flu shot vaccine. Image from clemson.edu

On average, between five and 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year according to WebMD,. If you would prefer not to be in that number, there are a number of ways to decrease your chance of getting the flu.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), flu season is unpredictable because the “timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.”

The CDC recommends doing three things to fight the spread of the flu.

The first and most important, according to the CDC, is to get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone six months old or older.

“A few weeks ago, I got the flu shot because I thought my brother had a the flu,” said junior James Carrere.

However, fellow junior Trey Couvillion said he will not get a flu shot because he has never gotten one and has never gotten the flu.

Journalism Teacher and Liturgical Band Director Christi Simoneaux will be getting a flu shot because, “If you’ve ever had the flu, you will want to get a flu shot. The flu is miserable.”

The CDC’s second tip is to take everyday measures to prevent the spread of germs. These include avoiding contact with sick people, washing hands, and disinfecting frequently touched items such as keyboards and phones.

The third is to take antiviral drugs when prescribed by a doctor. According to the CDC, these drugs can make an illness milder and shorten the time one is sick.

The symptoms of the flu include fever, dough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. According to the CDC, if one experiences these symptoms, he or she should stay home and avoid contact with others. Additionally, according to the CDC, most people with the flu do not need medical care or antiviral drugs unless they fall under a group that is at high risk of developing flu-related complications or are experiencing emergency warning signs.

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