Stop the flu before it stops you

You’ve heard stories all about it. You’re achy; you have a fever and chills. This means you might even have it. That’s right; flu season is here.Lavonne Adams, a professor in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and registered nurse, the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

“Flu season usually begins in October and ends in February,” Adams said. “Getting a vaccine is very helpful.”

The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine, meaning it contains different strains of dead influenza viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

The shot is available to people older than six months, who are both healthy or have chronic medical conditions.

If you do not like shots, the nasal-spray flu vaccine is also available. The spray is made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu and is available for people between the ages of 5 and 49 who are healthy and not pregnant.

The people on the TCU campus who are more susceptible to the flu are those who work around younger children and people involved with healthcare, Adams said.

“Other people who may be at risk are those who have some type of chronic disease,” Adams said.

If you begin to have some of the flu symptoms, it is best to treat the symptoms as you have them, said a CVS pharmacist.

Products like Tylenol and Advil can help for aches and pains. When taking some products like TheraFlu check the ingredients. If the ingredients do not help the symptoms, there is no use in taking the product.

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent getting the flu, said Heather Padgett, a senior nursing major.

“Getting enough sleep is also another way to stay healthy,” Padgett said.

Taking a multivitamin daily, eating right and staying away from people who are sneezing or coughing are also ways to avoid getting the flu, Padgett said.

If you do get the flu, be sure to get enough fluids and rest, Adams said.

“Antiviral medications are also very helpful when you get the flu,” Adams said.

Many grocery and drug store pharmacies are currently distributing the vaccination and the cost is around $25. The shot is also available at the Health Center for $20, which is charged to your student account.