Students prepare for Flu season


Stevie Gutierrez

For a limited time, CRC Health Services is offering free flu shots in OPS 126. Flu season accounts up to 49 million deaths year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article on Nov. 20 about the preventions people need to take in order to avoid getting the flu.

College Nurse Michelle Barkley emphasized how important it is for students to get the flu shot, which can either be administered through a nasal jet injection or needle.

“Thirty-six thousand people a year die from influenza,” Barkley said.

The flu is a respiratory disease known as influenza and it spreads through physical contact and through the air, said Barkley. She said it is very contagious.

Between 9 million to 49 million people get sick with the virus every year and the flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 960,000 hospitalizations each year since 2010, according to the CDC.

The flu vaccine protects against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common.

The CDC recommends on-going flu vaccinations as long as the influenza virus is circulating. It takes two weeks for the body to respond to the vaccination and for the body to be fully protected.

If somebody sneezes on an inanimate object the virus can live there for up to two hours, Barkley said. She also said anybody who touches that surface and then touches their face will most likely contract the virus.

“Avoid touching your face at all cost during cold and flu season,” Barkley said.

To avoid contracting the virus, students should wash their hands as much as possible said Barkley.

“I don’t get the shot, I just get sick. I feel like if you get the shot you still get sick,” said Kira Hawkins 18-year-old sociology major.

Drinking and eating right, exercising, getting 8 hours of sleep a night and maintaining good hygiene are all things students can do to avoid catching the flu, said Barkley.

If a student contracts the flu they should stay home and isolate themselves from everyone. Symptoms can be taken care of by over the counter medicines Barkley said.

“I get my flu shot and I drink a lot of tea and herbal drinks,” said 19-year-old Red Weld computer science major. “I also have an oil diffuser that cleans my air.”

Cosumnes River College has received a limited number of vaccine from Sacramento County Health Department. They are available for free at OPS 126, all that is required is a student ID, paperwork is given at the time of service.