The flu has returned and is making an impact this season.
Flu hospitalizations have steadily risen since 2014, and the 2017-2018 flu season is said to be the same, with an even higher record according to the New York Times.
Many people wonder whether or not getting the flu shot is the best option. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to form in the body made of weakened strains of the flu. This flu season there is a mixture of two Type A strains, known as H1N1 and H3N2, and a mixture of two Type B strains infecting people. 77 percent of samples genetically sequenced contain H3N2. The problem with this strain is that it is one of the most dangerous.
Students have concerns about the flu and recent epidemic.
Junior Cezar Gherasimescu said, “I think people need to take vitamins and make sure they stay as healthy as possible. I know from experience that the flu is no joke.” He also expressed concern about what Wesleyan was doing to combat the flu, and questioned whether the school offers free vaccines.
To clarify, Wesleyan does not offer any flu shots in the clinic on campus.
Terry Boasika, another junior, agreed. “It makes me more cautious about germs and shaking hands. It makes me want to keep a thing of hand sanitizer on me because you never know,” he said.
“Just keep it away from me, please,” said fellow classmate Alexis Washington. As far as health services is concerned: “They could do better.”
Another common concern about the flu shot is the misconception that it can infect recipients with the flu. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), though the weakened strains in the shot can’t actually cause the flu, it does take two weeks to work and can weaken the immune system. Another problem is that the vaccine doesn’t always work, although doctors say that the illness is worse without the vaccine.
Neither Washington nor Boasika have received the flu shot for this season.
Gherasimescu is undecided. “I got a flu shot last fall… So, I probably won’t get the shot again, I don’t know,” Gherasimescu said.
With all the recent records of deaths and hospitalizations due to the flu, it can definitely send some people into a frenzy. It’s important to stay calm and try to reduce risks that could lead to catching the flu.
Students who feel under the weather should see a licensed physician if over-the-counter products are not working.