Preventing the flu

David Houser and David Houser

Avoiding the flu is simple, if you’re willing to face a needle.

The alternative? Body aches, coughs, sneezes, fevers, fatigue, irritated eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, and of course, plenty of headaches.

Influenza is enough to affect your grades and a campus outbreak is enough to shut down the University, said Dr. Glenn Egelman, head of Student Health Services.

Luckily, there haven’t been any reports of influenza on campus yet this year and no influenza activity has been reported in Ohio or Michigan.

Although some flu strains are projected for this season, there isn’t any way for doctors to know what’s going to hit until it does, Egelman said.

To prepare for flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are producing as many as 132 million doses of the vaccine for this flu season, more than ever before.

Despite positive early predictions and preparations, Egelman said students should make a point to get vaccinated.

Last year, Student Health Services vaccinated 1,200 University students and staff but Egelman hopes the number will be higher this year.

“Some students may not realize the significance of getting sick with influenza, and I think student’s budgets are tight,” Egelman said.

It’s important that students at least consider getting the shot, he said.

Many aren’t.

Freshman Matt Rebman isn’t planning on getting vaccinated because he’s never gotten the shot before and has never had “a bad case of the flu” before.

Senior Nicole Barrett said she “normally never” gets vaccinations and so she doesn’t plan on getting it this year either.

Fifth-year senior Grace Khatib said she doesn’t believe it’s necessary because she takes other precautions to avoid influenza.

Meanwhile, other students are already making plans to do it.

Junior Lauren Brown said she will get vaccinated back in her home town in order “to not get sick.” She doesn’t want to get her new niece sick.

If a student wishes to get vaccinated, there are plenty of places to get the shot. Students can get vaccinated at the Student Health Center on Ridge Street, but also at Meijer on East Wooster Street, Kroger on North Main Street and Rite Aid on South Main Street. Prices vary, but Student Health Services offers the cheapest at $22. Students can use their BG1 Card to pay at the health center.

To get even more students vaccinated, health center nurses will travel to multiple campus locations to bring the vaccinations closer to students.

A schedule for the mobile service is posted on the Health Center’s Web site at For more information, call the health center at 372-2271.


-200,000: number of people hospitalized from the flu every year on average

– 36,000: number of people who die from the flu every year on average

– 39: number of children who have already died this season

– 5 to 20: percentage of the U. S. population that gets the flu