Jose Ribalta / Staff Writer
Dr. Howard, Clinical Assistant Professor of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, advises that students get vaccinated this year and every year.
With Flu season just around the corner, Dr. Melissa Howard provides some tips and information on how to prepare for it.
High-risk individuals would be very young children, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with conditions that hinder their immune system.
However, college aged students are not an exception- whether they are considered high risk or not.
“The flu can still be very uncomfortable and inconvenient and land a college student in the hospital,” said Dr. Howard. “This can be compounded when people who live in communal living situations (dorms, shared apartments, etc.) are infected.”
Dr. Howard compares our upcoming flu season to last year’s. She states that last year’s season was the longest we’ve had in 10 years, and that we should prepare for another “active” season.
“One of the best ways to protect yourself from season’s flu is to receive your vaccination each year,” said Dr. Howard. “Many people do not know that the formulations of the vaccination change from season to season.”
Dr. Howard adds that flu vaccinations usually cover three strands of the virus and that we are straying away from this for the upcoming season. The flu season of 2019-2020 will use flu vaccinations that cover four strands of the virus.
Dr. Howard also emphasizes that millions of people get the flu every year, with thousands being hospitalized and even facing death. She notes that it is important for high-risk individuals to get vaccinated as soon as possible.