The number of cases of influenza are on the rise around the country. And, this year's flu season has started early in Tennessee.
It’s not to late to get vaccinated, especially for those who have any medical problems like asthma, epilepsy, diabetes or immunosuppression that cause individuals to be at high risk for complications.
The Lipscomb community will have the opportunity to get a flu vaccine Friday, Jan. 18, from 7 to 9 a.m. in the health assessment lab on the second floor of the Nursing and Health Sciences Center. The clinic is open to all university students, faculty, staff and spouses and children age four and older of faculty and staff. This will be the final flu vaccination clinic to be held on campus this semester.
The vaccination is $20 and payable by cash, check or student account charge. Student nurses and instructors will be administering vaccines at the clinic. Those getting the shot are asked to allow 30 minutes for the injection. In addition to the clinic, vaccinations are also administered in the Health Services Center in the lower level of Elam Hall from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Bethany Massey, director of health services, said that common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. Other symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea, especially in children.
“It's important to seek medical attention early on if you have flu symptoms, especially if you have chronic medical conditions. Medication for the flu (Tamiflu) can only be started within the first 48 hours of symptoms,” said Massey.
Current university students can be seen in the Health Center for diagnosis and treatment of influenza-like illness she said.
If someone has the flu, they should not go to class or work as he or she may infect others, she added.
“Rest is important and your fever should be gone for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to class or work. Flu symptoms in a healthy person last an average of a week. If you develop shortness of breath, pain in your chest, inability to eat or drink, confusion or increasing fever, you should seek medical attention immediately. Influenza can lead to respiratory complications like pneumonia,” she said.
Getting a flu vaccination is the primary defense against getting the flu, she said. Other preventive measures include frequent hand washing with soap and water, getting adequate sleep and practicing good hygiene.