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Flu vaccinations still recommended

The Parthenon

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 11:01

An early arrival of the flu this season has Marshall University Physicians emphasizing the importance of students getting flu shots.

“Getting your flu shot is extremely important for all students,” Dr.Thomas Rushton, Marshall University Physician, said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, findings show that a flu shot reduces the risk of patients having to go to the doctor by about 60 percent. So far this year, the CDC shows that about 112 million Americans have been vaccinated since November.

According to the CDC, manufacturers were expecting to produce about 135 million total doses this year, and manufactures say there are shots available for anyone who would like to get a flu shot.

“The flu season normally begins around February, but the flu has arrived earlier this season than most years,” Rushton said. He said Hurricane Sandy might have been a factor in the early occurrence of the flu this year.

While flu activity is prominent in 49 states, West Virginia is one of 26 states with a high level of flu activity.

“This year, we have seen a significant increase in the flu than in years past,” Charles Shumaker, Media and Community Relations manager at Cabell Huntington Hospital, said. “The flu is hitting all age groups pretty hard and we encourage students to get vaccinated whenever you can. It is not too late.”

The CDC lists some symptoms of the flu, which include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and malaise.

“I advise students to stay home, if at all possible, if you are experiencing any flu like symptoms,” Rushton said. “If you must go out, take common precautions such as coughing in your elbows and a lot of hand washing.”

According to the CDC, roughly 36,000 people die each year in the United States due to complications from the flu.

Flu shots are available at Cabell Huntington Health Department—located at 703 7th Ave.—Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Flu shots are available for all residents who live, work or volunteer in Cabell County or the city of Huntington.

For more information on the flu, you may visit Student Health located at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Shane Bias can be contacted at bias117@marshall.edu.

 

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