University of Minnesota Sets Flu Shot Record

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Some medical experts are saying that this year’s flu season will be especially difficult, with outbreaks expected all across the United States and abroad. Already, signs of the nasty virus are being felt, with its full effect expected over the winter months.

Don't get the flu.  Don't spread the flu. Get Vaccinated. www.cdc.gov/fluThe Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that December 8-14, 2008, is National Influenza Vaccination Week, with December 9th designated as Children’s Vaccination Day. However, for students attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cites campus, Tuesday, October 28th was that school’s vaccination day and it was one for the record books. On that day 11,538 flu vaccines were dispensed, nearly tripling the previous one day record, landing the university in the Guinness World Records book.

“This has been a wonderful success. Not only have we broken the record, but we vaccinated so many people and raised awareness about the importance of flu vaccines when it comes to the health of college students,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, director and chief public health officer at the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service.

The CDC is asking every healthy American to get a shot this year especially those people who meet the following criteria:

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.
  • The vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses or it can make your illness milder if you get a different flu virus.
  • Getting a vaccine is very important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart or lung disease, and people 65 and older.
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk should also get a flu vaccine to protect their high-risk contact.

Moreover, the CDC is recommending the following preventive measures:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get the flu, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Lastly, for anyone who gets the flu, the CDC recommends that patients see their doctors immediately and take prescribed anti-viral medicine:

  • If you do get the flu, antiviral drugs are an important treatment option. (They are not a substitute for vaccination.)
  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body.
  • Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. This could be especially important for people at high risk.
  • For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
  • Flu-like symptoms include fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches.

College students may believe that they’re immune from sickness and may dismiss the need for a flu shot. However, anyone can experience complications from this type of illness, related effects that can kill.

(Source: University of Minnesota/Twin Cities)

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