This year’s flu season is getting ready to begin, and the University of West Georgia’s (UWG) Health Services is taking action to help students and faculty stay protected.
On Oct. 8, the UWG Health Services will offer seasonal flu vaccinations at the UWG Coliseum from 9a.m.-2p.m. It is free for all students and $20 for faculty and staff.
“[Health Services] is doing everything it can to prevent the flu and spread awareness,” said Ronald King, lead health educator for Health Services. “Flu season is a pretty rampant time for Health Services.”
Vaccinations will also be available at the UWG Newnan campus Oct. 13 from 10a.m.-1p.m. Doctors (or whoever) will inject their patients’ arm with a needle that contains the killed virus.
Health Services sees roughly 200 to 300 patients on a regular day, with even higher fluctuations once cold and flu season begin. Due to the high number of patients visiting Heath Services, wait times can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or longer.
Flu season usually begins around October and can end as late as May, with the peak months being December, January and February. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu virus differs every year, making it difficult to predict which strain will make an appearance. The CDC also recommends a flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months.
Symptoms can start suddenly, and can include fever, headache, sore throat, runny nose and cough. The virus can be spread one day before these symptoms and up to five days after a person becomes sick. King suggested getting vaccinated as soon as possible to help prevent the start of these symptoms.
“Because flu season is such a heavy time for us, [Health Services] recommends for everyone to not only get vaccinated, but take necessary precautions to help prevent the catching and passing of the virus.”
Since the virus constantly changes, it is not uncommon for new flu viruses to spread during the season. To help prevent flu and other viruses, King recommends not only getting the vaccine but also to “cover your cough and sneeze, wash your hands and avoid touching your face.”
Vaccinations may also be available through personal care physicians as well as clinics located inside of drug stores, such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.