The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Flu shots available on some campuses

By Charity Montieth/managing editor

If you have a sore throat, fever, cough and body aches, odds are that you’ve come down with the nasty virus known as the flu.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tracks flu activity throughout the year, and Texas currently reports widespread outbreaks of influenza and influenza-like illnesses.

The CDC estimates that 20 percent of the population will come down with the flu. Because influenza cases are voluntarily reported, specific numbers are not available, but it is expected that cases of the flu will reach a peak this month. Health officials anticipate that by the end of the month, the number of flu cases will decrease dramatically.

Influenza is an airborne virus, meaning it is spread from person to person when small droplets enter the air after a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can survive for several hours outside of the body.

Symptoms include cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, body aches and sometimes nausea. Because these symptoms mirror that of a common cold, it is often difficult to differentiate between the two without laboratory testing.

The most effective way to avoid coming down with the flu is to get a flu shot. Although the ideal time to receive the vaccination is in November, it is still not too late to get the shot, Pat Marling, NE Campus coordinator of health services, said.

“ As long as people haven’t already had the flu, then they can definitely still get the get the shot,” she said.

The CDC also recommends practicing respiratory etiquette to prevent the spread of germs, which includes frequent hand-washing, avoiding closed or crowded spaces, and staying home when sick.

“ Anyone who is experiencing a fever or severe body aches should stay home until they are symptom-free,” Marling said.

Most of the TCC campuses still have a limited supply of the vaccine available for $12 to anyone over 18 years old.

The most abundant supply is on SE Campus, with approximately 60 doses remaining. NE and NW Campus report they have very limited supplies, and South Campus has depleted its supply.

TCC nurses will give the shots until spring break or supplies run out, whichever is first.

Marling recommends that those wishing to receive the vaccination from TCC should call ahead to their campus’ health services office to confirm doses are still available. Pre-payment of $12 should be made at business services.

No appointment is necessary.

FRIENDLY FLU FACTS

Protect yourself and others from the flu by practicing good respiratory etiquette:

Wash hands often, especially if you are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Do not share anything that could become contaminated with respiratory germs, such as towels, lipstick, food, eating utensils or glasses.

Avoid close, crowded spaces.

Cover your mouth and nose with tissue every time you sneeze, blow your nose, or cough. Do not use handkerchiefs.

Put used tissues into the nearest trash can after using.

If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve to cover your mouth and nose. Do not use your bare hands.

Stay home if you have a cough and fever.

Clean surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant (such as one part household bleach to nine parts water) to help prevent spread of infection.

Source: Texas Department of State Health Services, www.dshs.state.tx.us

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian