Second semester is starting to take off. Professors are beginning to assign homework and projects, and the last thing anybody wants now is to get sick—especially with the flu.
But for one reason or another, many students choose not to get a flu shot. Whether they think don’t have time, or they believe they aren’t at risk of being infected, it’s important to remember the flu can strike at any time. Getting the flu shot should be a top priority for college students, considering the severity and heightened amount of confirmed cases in Michigan this season.
According to experts, there have been 285 confirmed cases of a flu strain that killed four Michigan residents to date. In the past week, there have been 50 MSU flu cases reported to the Olin Health Center.
Omari Sankofa II
Symptoms of the flu include a high fever — 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit — headaches, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a stuffy nose, sneezing, a sore throat and cough.
And if these symptoms turn into pneumonia or bronchitis, you most likely will be unable to attend classes for weeks.
Until you actually get sick with the flu, you might not realize the importance of the flu shot. But if you contract the flu during a time when classes and work are demanding, a few days behind might become a few weeks.
Olin Health Center offers flu shots for students for $58 when billed to the patient, but if you have the MSU Aetna Student Insurance plan, it is free.
This is much cheaper than the medicine provided to patients when they are diagnosed with the flu — which could end up costing up to $130.
Flu shots also are offered on a walk-in basis at pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Target and Rite Aid.
Getting a flu shot particularly is important for students who live or work in the dorms. In tight quarters, a cough or sneeze can travel a long way, putting these students at a greater risk than others.
In addition, riding the bus, working in computer labs or eating in on-campus cafeterias puts students at a greater risk for catching the bug.
Although many students are reluctant to get a flu shot, anything that can keep you safe and healthy is a good thing.
In addition to getting your flu shot, easy ways to stay healthy this semester include washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when you cough and cleaning phones and keyboards that might contain germs.
The last thing you want is to not only catch the flu, but also have your friends mad at you for getting them sick.
When you’re in college, it’s easy to spread and catch illnesses, and the flu is not something to joke about.
You may be one of those people who think you don’t need the flu shot, but if you do catch the flu, you will wish you had gotten it.
Many teachers only have a few excused absences, and nobody wants to fail a class because of the flu.