Give flu season the cold shoulder

Hannah Reed

Flu season is here, but it’s not hard to stay protected.

Dr. Angela DeJulius, the Chief University Physician at University Health Services, said it is very common for students to be sick when they return to school after a long break.

“With the holidays, everyone is hugging and kissing,” said DeJulius. “They all seem to come back with the flu.”

Jim Hostler, a pharmacist at University Health Services, explained that the flu is not something to be taken lightly.

“The flu is still around and it’s getting here,” Hostler said. “It’s actually pretty dangerous; There have been a lot of deaths from it.”

Hostler added that the university’s pharmacy has ordered Tamiflu, a prescription medication to help speed up the recovery process of the flu.

“The quicker you start [Tamiflu], the more effective it is,” said Laura Damicone, another pharmacist at the DeWeese center.

The Ohio Department of Health said flu season in Ohio can last anywhere from October all the way until March, but peaks in January.  

“We usually see it in the end of January, first of February, but you really can get it any time,” Hostler said.

DeJulius said that there are many ways to prevent the flu, like getting an immunization, washing your hands and staying home if you are sick.

“It’s definitely not too late to get a flu shot,” DeJulius said. “Flu season is really just starting.”


Residents of Kent prepare for the upcoming flu season by getting a flu shot. Flu shots are available for students at the DeWeese Health Center. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

The DeWeese Health Center on campus offers flu shots by appointment that cost $20 for students without insurance. Many surrounding drug stores give flu immunizations as well.

Not everyone agrees on the importance of the immunization, though. Samuel Rodgers, a sophomore pre-human development and family studies major, is not planning on getting the shot.

“I feel like they’re unnecessary,” Rodgers said. “If you take a multivitamin and eat right, you should be fine.”

Damicone explained that someone cannot contract the virus from the immunization shot.  

“It is an inactivated influenza vaccine,” he said. “You can’t get the flu from a flu vaccine unless it’s something like intra-nasal; That’s live.”

DeJulius explained that there are multiple strands of the influenza virus for which to look out.

“What many people don’t know is that the H1N1 virus is still circulating,” she said. “That strain of flu makes young adults very sick. The flu shot protects against it.”

“The health center is here, and we have plenty of doctors and nurse practitioners,” Hostler said. ” A lot of that is included with fees, so there’s no charge.”

To make an appointment at the DeWeese Center, call 330-672-2322.

Contact Hannah Reed at [email protected].