How UK students can keep the flu away this season


University of Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto received his flu shots from UK pharmacy student Leanne Hewlett in the UK pharmacy building on Oct 6, 2011. Photo by Collin Lindstrom | Staff

Raymond Vanderpool

It’s almost that time of year again. Sneezing, sniffling and coughing can be heard echoing across campus during the flu season. But what if students could guard themselves against this year’s flu and avoid those symptoms, stopping its spread across campus?

Knowing the common symptoms of the flu can help prevent the spread of the virus to other people. According to the Center for Disease Control, some common flu symptoms include fever, cough runny or stuffy nose, body aches headaches, chills and fatigue.

According to the CDC, people may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. If you have any symptoms, it is always good to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, and cover coughs to help avoid the spread the flu across campus.

“Hand hygiene is the best way to prevent both cold and flu,” said Fadyia Lowe of UK University Health Services.

Aside from knowing the symptoms and practicing personal hygiene, another way to avoid the flu is to receive the yearly flu vaccine. Lowe provided the Kernel with a flu fact sheet that helps suggest ways to prevent the flu. According to University Health Services, the flu shouldn’t be taken lightly.

 “The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death,” the page read. “The predominate flu strain changes every year, and every year the vaccine changes with it. Herd immunity only works when the majority of people are vaccinated: this helps protect those at risk who are unable to receive the vaccine.”

The flu virus and vaccine changes from year to year.

“Just because you were vaccinated one season does not mean you will have immunity the following season,” the fact sheet read. “For optimal protection, get the flu shot once a year.”

UK and University Health Services have already started providing free and low-cost flu shots and will continue to host walk-in events across campus until Oct. 25th.

Students with a valid student IDs only pay $10 for a shot, and those with a valid UK Student Insurance plan get their shot for free. Campus employees can get a flu shot for $20 with their ID.

Remaining schedule for campus flu shot clinics

Oct. 9 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Student Center 330 A/B

Oct. 10 — 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the W.T. Young Library Gallery Room

Oct. 16 — 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the UHS first floor lobby

Oct. 17 — 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Johnson Center Lobby

Oct. 25 — 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the W.T. Young Library Gallery Room