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Student Health Services hosts flu clinic

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CSU-Pueblo’s Student Health Services provided students, staff and faculty members with a flu clinic in order to help prepare for the upcoming flu season, Tuesday, Oct.11.

Photo courtesy of bioprepwatch.com.

The clinic offered the CSU-Pueblo community $15 influenza and flu vaccinations, as well as information on the illness.

The flu is a form of respiratory illness that is onset by an inactive strand of the influenza virus, according to the Center for Disease Control’s website. The three most prevalent strands are Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza H1N1.

The shots provided by SHS were for influenza A and B, but not for vaccination for H1N1, also known as swine flu. The decision to carry the H1N1 vaccination for the 2011-2012 academic year has not yet been made.

Common symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, muscle or body aches and chest discomfort.

In order to prevent the flu, students are advised to wash their hands consistently and avoid others who become ill.  Taking these steps and getting the vaccination make prevention of the flu easy, said Anne Gomez, one of the nurse practitioners for SHS.

“It is more common for the kids in the dorms, who live in close quarters,” Gomez said. “It’s like with cases with strep. One comes in and 15 more show up.”

Vaccinations are on a first-come, first-serve basis for students, staff and faculty.  Any doses left over will become available to their families.

At 150 doses, the order of vaccinations stocked by SHS for this season was based off of the number of vaccinations administered during the 2010-2011 academic year, but SHS has the chance to order more should demand exceed the initial 150 vaccinations, Gomez said.

“Last year we ordered twice as much, but we didn’t use them all,” said Melody Grublak, a phlebotomist and medical assistant for SHS.

Roughly 100 doses went unused and were returned last year. This could partly have been a result of students getting their vaccinations from their primary care physicians, Gomez said.

“Why spend money out of pocket?” Gomez said.

If students are unsure if their ailment is the flu or not, SHS can perform a throat swab to confirm or deny a diagnosis of the flu, as sometimes it can be mistaken for a cold, Gomez said.

“They (individuals who contract the flu) usually get high fever, muscle and body aches and feel like they’ve hit a wall,” Gomez said

Symptoms of the flu generally diminish in intensity after the first 48 hours, she said.

Students who do contact the virus can obtain a flu kit at SHS, which includes a thermometer, hand sanitizer and Tylenol. Students are also advised to stay out of class.

The clinic Tuesday was the first, but SHS plans to set up mini clinics in the dorms later in the semester, Gomez said.

For more information, contact SHS at 719-549-2830, or at shs@colostate-pueblo.edu.