The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that seasonal influenza virus cases begin as early as October.
A new October brings with it bright orange hues, pumpkin flavored everything and flu-like symptoms with the beginning of this year’s flu season. The flu can be detected all year, according to the CDC, but monthly activity reaches its highest between October and March.
The viral infection, which usually spreads through the air due to coughs and sneezes, according to the World Health Organization, has made it’s way to campus. Theater arts major Debra Brannan is “a little” concerned about getting sick after noticing signs of the flu around her.
“A couple of students around here have gotten sick and some of the teachers, but it’s not too bad yet,” said Brannan. Higher vitamin C intake, careful hand washing and limited contact with people are her tools for keeping healthy.
Digital media major Benjamin Furbeck isn’t very concerned about the flu. If he sees someone with the flu, he prefers to just avoid that person.
The CDC cautions that most healthy adults may still be able to infect others one day before their symptoms develop and between five and seven days after symptoms pass. Some people, especially young children and people with weak immune systems, can be infectious longer than seven days.
The CDC notes that diagnosing someone with the flu based on their symptoms is difficult. There are many other bacterial and viral causes of respiratory illness that manifest with flu-like symptoms.
Informatics major Mobashir Hussain is confident he won’t have to deal with getting sick this fall. “I normally do get sick when it comes around this time of the year. I got my flu shots and I’m ready. I knew it would come like [it does] every year, so I got my flu shots done and I feel very good,” said Hussain. Hussain also keeps himself hydrated and eats well.
Hussain’s methods for staying healthy are in line with CDC research which note that in order for the body to function normally, sick or healthy, water is needed to flush toxins and help white blood cell circulation.
Radiologic technology major Justin Pendyke usually gets worried about illness as soon as the seasons change. He keeps hydrated, increases his vitamin C intake and maintains a good diet, but notes that he’s not had a flu shot “in a couple of years.”
The CDC recommends that most people receive flu shots, especially the young, old and already sick. Children under 6 months should be kept away from the ill, as they are too young for immunizations. The CDC says that if you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
The symptoms of the flu, according to the CDC, are:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Fatigue (very tired)