Your flu risk: should you get the shot?

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Kelby Lorenz | Editor-in-chief
Sept. 27, 2016; 7 a.m.

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Graphic by Kelby Lorenz

Flu season is coming, and even healthy college students are at risk, according to the St. Charles County public health department.

“The best way to protect yourself is with the flu shot,” said Doug Bolnick, a public information officer for the department. “The flu shot is for everyone, and it is OK to get the flu shot from 6 months old and older.”

Students will be at the highest risk for contracting the flu over the next several months, so they should take preventive measures, said Bolnick.

“I would advise that people wash their hands regularly, whether with soap or hand sanitizer,” Bolnick said. “Also, if you are sick, stay home. I know missing class is hard, but it’s better to stay home for one day than missing a week or making your classmates sick as well.”

Bolnick said everyone should get a flu shot now, even though the flu season will not start for another month.

“It takes about two weeks for the antibodies to work, so it’s best to get the flu shot as soon as possible,” he said.

St. Charles County’s health department administers the flu shot and accepts most forms of insurance. If no insurance is available, the cost is $25.

According to the most recent data available on the CDC website, the total number of positive influenza A cases were 13,789 and 5,842 cases of Influenza B were reported. With flu season coming up, that number is set to rise.

Students from Lindenwood’s School of Health Sciences also said that getting the flu shot is beneficial.

“It goes with any vaccine. If you can get it, then get it,” said Melisa Farkas, a public health major. “We cannot stress that enough.”

Jamie Faucheux, another public health major, said that getting the flu shot is easy, so students should definitely get it.

“You could easily get the flu from a doorknob,” she said. “So if you have the flu shot, then it helps you prevent it. It’s an extra layers of protection.”

Faculty and staff members will be able to get flu shots free through Lindenwood’s health insurance on Oct. 3-5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day in Hyland Arena.

Students are not eligible, but they can get them at the health department office at 1650 Boone’s Lick Road, or at Walgreen’s and CVS.