The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
CDC urges public to get vaccinated as epidemic spreads
By JOSH FLYNN, Features Editor
Published: January 16, 2013
This year it’s worse. That is what health officials are saying as the flu sweeps the nation, barely but still officially crossing the line into epidemic territory.
The Center for Disease Central is predicting that this flu season will be one of the worst in a decade.
“In the past 10 years, we have seen just two or three like it,” said CDC Spokesman Tom Skinner to the New York Daily News.
Flu season struck earlier than its usual late-January or early-February cue.
The CDC reported the epidemic widespread with the exceptions of Washington DC, Mississippi, Hawaii and California.
While California may only be affected on a regional level, the Daily News in Los Angeles reported a spike in respiratory illnesses, reported by LA County Public Health last week.
But it is not just Southern California that is experiencing this spike. Seattle-based station Q13 reported that doctors are seeing people coming in with other respiratory illnesses.
The CDC recently published a study titled “Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness,” which concludes that the vaccination has an estimated 62 percent effectiveness for the 2012-2013 flu season.
Flu shot vaccinations protect against strand A and strand B viruses up to 90 percent of the time, but the culprit of the epidemic is the remaining 10 percent that belongs to a strand B type that the 2012-2013 vaccination does not cover.
In addition, a recent article from the New York Times affirms that it takes up to two weeks to develop immunity to the virus.
The CDC and other health officials continue to push the public to get vaccinated.
Clinics, hospitals and other health facilities are running out of the vaccination because they cannot meet the demand; however, www.flu.gov, managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is currently providing locations in your area that still have shots.
So what do you do to avoid infection?
While it may be jumping the gun to run around disinfecting everything in sight, SPU students can do one simple thing that will make a difference in their health.
Wash your hands. It’s often that simple.
Anything – door handles, the railing along the bus’s entrance, elevator buttons, keyboards, ATM buttons – they’re all things everybody touches, and there is no way to tell at face value what’s on them.
Washing your hands frequently is the most effective preventative measure.
Cough, fever, body aches, chills and headache are some of the initial symptoms of the flu.
If you experience these, you should see a doctor right away.
If you are diagnosed with the flu, it is suggested that you stay home, as the flu virus is very serious and can easily spread to others.
The CDC claims it is liable for 90 percent of deaths in adults that are 65 or older and there have been a total of 20 deaths reported this flu season.
For more convenient protection or information, you can utilize Health Services located in Watson Hall on the first floor.
They are open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.