BY Jessica Gulseth
For many college students, making it through the winter without a runny nose or sore throat is nearly impossible. Students bundle up in coats, mittens and scarves to keep warm and to keep themselves from getting the flu.
However, Dr. Carol Grimm, director of health and wellness at Hendrix, believes it takes more than warm apparel to fight the flu.
“First thing, get your flu shot. I think it’s really important,” Grimm said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the influenza vaccine, or the flu shot, protects against three influenza viruses. The vaccine can be administered through a nasal spray or in an injection.
Broadcast journalism sophomore Ariana Babcock agrees that flu shots are important.
“I think it is a good precaution to take in order to prevent getting extremely sick,” she said.
The CDC recommends anyone six months or older should get the flu shot every year.
Two weeks after the vaccine has been administered, antibodies start to develop in the body. The antibodies then protect against influenza infections.
There are more than 30 clinics in the Fargo-Moorhead area that offer flu vaccinations.
“Hendrix is still offering the flu shot, so students can come in at anytime and get one,” Grimm said.
On Nov. 13, Hendrix is offering a walk-in student flu clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Like with most services at Hendrix, students are required to present their insurance card upon arrival.
Regardless of if you get a flu shot, Grimm said having a balanced diet, staying active and getting plenty of sleep, are simple ways to stay healthy year round.
“Getting enough sleep is important,” Grimm said. “Exercising will keep your immune system up, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water. People forget about how dry it gets.”
Even with all the precautions taken to better your health, Grimm said it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms. The National Vaccine Information Center website lists several symptoms of the flu. These symptoms include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and coughing. On occasion symptoms can also include vomiting and diarrhea.
If you are unsure about your symptoms, visit your doctor. It is important to know when a runny nose is something more. The flu can quickly turn into something more serious such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In the most severe cases, the flu can result in death.
Hendrix is a full medical clinic that is available to all MSUM students and faculty.The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the exceptions of national holidays.
Grimm had some final advice for those trying to avoid illness this winter.
“If you’re sick, stay home,” she said.