Students beware: Flu season is arriving soon

Maytinee Kramer/Staff Writer

Flu season is nearly upon us once again and that means making a decision about whether to get a vaccine. Experts say vaccination is the best and safest tool to protect ourselves, but there is one big change coming this year — the elimination of the nasal vaccine, or FluMist.

Flu season is an annually recurring time period characterized by the prevalence of outbreaks of influenza, or flu. The season occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere, and while flu activity varies by location, it usually takes about three weeks to peak and another three weeks to diminish.

There are three virus families and influenza virus A, B, and C are the main infective agents that cause influenza. The viruses are actually transmitted throughout populations all year round, but significantly manifest during periods of cooler temperature.

The exact mechanism behind the seasonal nature of influenza outbreaks is unclear, but some proposed explanations include: people remaining indoors more often in winter, which means they are in closer contact more often, promoting transmission from person to person; viruses are preserved in colder temperatures resulting in slower decomposition, so they linger longer on exposed surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops.

Dr. Curtis McLemore offered news source, 12 WFSA, some advice on how to help prevent the virus from rapidly spreading.

“It’s spread usually by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; the mucosal surfaces is how it can be spread. Wash your hands, try to get the rest you need, keep your immune system up and healthy during the flu season and try to avoid large crowds in confined spaces with other people coughing and sneezing,” McLemore said.

The virus changes every year and spreads easily from person to person, so it can be difficult to fully eradicate. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the available flu vaccine was 60 percent effective. In addition, the vaccine is constantly being tweaked and improved, offering more protection each year. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all adults and children older than six months.

FIU values the health and success of its students, which is why the institution offers flu shots for all students, faculty and staff. Flu shots are given at FIU’s Student Health Center by appointment and are free of charge while supplies last.

New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with the rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because the flu can evolve quickly and easily, it’s important to get the current year’s vaccine as last year’s may not fully protect the person from the current year’s viruses. That is why it’s imperative for Panthers to get the vaccine as it will help maintain good health as it’s important to their overall success and health.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

About the Author

Maytinee Kramer
Call me May. I’m a senior double majoring in Asian studies and broadcast media and minoring in international relations. I’m a K-pop and Disney junkie, but I also enjoy watching anime and cosplaying. Some of my favorite shows are “Once Upon a Time,” “Supernatural,” and “Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma” while my favorite music artists are 2PM, GOT7, DEAN and Eddy Kim. After college, I hope to work as a news anchor, but I’d eventually like to host a show/segment that focuses on traveling. I am fluent in Thai and currently learning Japanese and Korean.

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