As the leaves fall, the nights get longer, and the air turns frigid, everyone is reaching for tissues and hand sanitizer. Welcome to flu season. It’s the time of year where pathogens spread and the chances of catching the seasonal flu virus peak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The seasonal flu can cause outbreaks from fall to spring, and has the potential to grow from mild to severe when not treated properly. For students, faculty and staff at Quinnipiac, though, free vaccinations are available.
Kathryn Macaione, director of Student Health Services, estimated 1,300 students, faculty and staff received the vaccination in the first flu shot clinic, which occurred on Oct. 19 in the Rec Center.
Like individuals that get new coats every year, the influenza virus adopts the same methodologies byannually shedding and getting a new coat. Because of this, updated vaccines are needed.
“The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against all strains of the influenza virus, it only protects against the most prevalent strains for that year,” graduate student and microbiologist Jillian Giguere said.
“It’s imperative that every single person receives a flu shot because the influenza virus is able to reinfect the same host multiple times as it undergoes antigenic shifts,” she said.
But it’s effectiveness still has doubters on campus.
“I’ve never gotten one and I’m alive,” freshman Scott Ostrander said.
“I remember getting sick after I had received flu shots while growing up,” freshman Jaclyn Bedard said.
The CDC advises every American six months or older to get vaccinated, and sponsored a recommendation for universal vaccination through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Macaione encourages the community to get the shot before Thanksgiving break to prevent the spread of the virus to the community. The final flu shot clinic will be held on the North Haven campus today from 2-6 p.m.